I have ordered a sculpting product called Cx5 and Cx5s made by Adam Beane Industries (ABI). I have been aware of it for several years but had no motivation to try it. Now I am wondering if it will be a suitable media for doing the small carvings I have been doing in wax.
The material is heat sensitive in relation to it firmness or actually hardness. It can be worked much the same as wax but also has characteristics of clay. It seems to be a product that is a bit out of the mainstream for hard core sculpters. But that could be because it is more of a cross breed between clay sculpting material and hard wax carving. Any change in work habits are hard for hardcore artist, used to their standard processes.
In any case I have ordered some and will give it a workout. I submitted a question to the maker of this product asking if it could work directly in lost wax casting replacing the burnout wax. (NO REPLY) Cx5 will be of less interest to me if I have to do an intermediate step of creating a wax master for the burn out.
I have an adult son and daughter that like to work with clay so I asked them come over when it arrives and try a sample. It's claimed to be a great product for making masters for resin casting. Since I like to do that as well as my silver work, perhaps he and I can do some larger pieces than I normally do in lost wax silver casting. It is also suitable for any large scale metal casting too.
After 19 days I finally received my shipment of Cx5 and Cx5s. No comment from ABI for the delay and in fact the ABI website had listed my order as unpaid for 15 days. That concerned me so I used the PayPal customer support system and communicated my concern to ABI. They shipped the product nearly immediately.
Cx5 is much harder material than Castilene and I am excited to give it that workout I mentioned above.
I will review the product over in Ramblin' Dan's Workshop and certainly display any creations here in Dimensional Art Org.
I created these 2011 Christmas ornaments to try some new creative processes I have never used before. First was to see if I could machine wax (the mold) with a high enough surface finish that I wouldn't have to spend hours in finish bench work. (Success)
Next was to understand the process of resin casting multiple parts. (Success)
Third was to make something unique for Christmas 2011. (Success)
These went to all the family members. Not a tremendously wonderful gift item but I hope a keepsake ornament for the tree. I have a truly unique idea that I will probably see many others the same for next Christmas. I also plan to be casting in pewter by that time.
I think this qualifies as another contribution of Dimensional Art.
See the process HERE.
My brother Jim and his wife Patty live in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The rocks may be flat but the land certainly isn't.
Jim built this house on the side of a mountain as you can see in this Lithophane. It's almost brand new and in fact, in this picture it is. I thought it would be nice to make him a unique image of his new home. So here it is. It kind of has an old time heirloom look to it.
I carved this Mayan Calendar in 1/4 inch thick Corian (brand) solid surface material. The diameter of the circle is 7-3/4 inches. The last picture was created within Vectric Aspire V2 to illustrate how the finished carving would look. I will say, no difference.
Tooling was a solid 1/4 inch 60 degree V-bit at 10, 600 RPM, feed was 50 IPM cut with 30 IPM plunge. Minimum Z depth was set to -0.20 inches but it looks like it didn't get there. The material is 0.250 inches thick. Cut time was 1 Hour 35 minutes. That's the carving details for the fellow carvers out there.
It can be used for a wall hanging or perhaps as a table hot pad. Corian can't take high heat but a hot dish would be fine.
The primary reason I made this piece was to display and test the accuracy of the HB2 carving machine I built. This is a smaller version of the first carving I made on this machine. The HB2 machine is mostly a PDJ design, but I made changes and details (like the spindle and stepper heat sinks) to suit myself. A picture of my machine can be seen at the bottom of the PDJ home page.
Some of the calendar pictures are close duplicates, but I couldn't decide which ones not to show. There is still some Corian material dust (the white looking deposits) in the carving and it takes a lot of work to clean it all out. The close up photography brings all those details out but it looks much better with normal hand viewing. The detail is fantastic as many of the surface lines drop right down into the deeper areas. A nice looking project.
The carving is only one part of a fully finished piece. The software design is a good sized part of the effort. The carving is interesting to watch but it is the amount of time in the detail finishing that would make this a piece of art. If this was a piece for sale, I would detail the finish, but time is money. This piece has a flaw, a little slip off the right edge -- so in my book, this is as much time as I need to spend on this example.
Not quite perfect but I hope you like what you see. I love the detail.
The following information is quoted from the Vectric website, where I obtained the necessary software to create this type of picture. The software is a critical element but only one of many to create the finished item.
People are constantly looking for that 'Special gift' for a loved one, family and friends and a Lithophane or 3D picture is the perfect answer. The 3D lithophane is completely different to the usual printed photograph and is something that very few people will have seen. People are trully amazed by a lithophane that comes to life when lit from behind, and will last for generations giving untold pleasure to everyone who see's it.
What is a Lithophane?
Lithophanes are 3D photographs that when viewed in normal lighting look a little dull and lifeless. But when back lit transform into stunning 3D pictures with depth and detail that cannot be seen in a flat 2D photograph.
Lithophanes originate from a process developed back in the mid 1800's for mass producing 3D pictures in porcelain. A 3D design was hand engraved into a thin sheet of bees wax that was placed over a lighted candle to show the effect of light passing through the wax. This master design was then used to make a mold for casting designs in porcelain. Varying levels of light to pass through the porcelain depending upon the thickness
The Greek origin of lithophane work means "light in stone" or to "appear in stone".
Examples of what lithophanes were used for include Decorative Lamp Shades and Window Panels that came to life when lit from behind and German Beer Jugs that had a translucent bases that turned into 3D pictures once the beer had been drunk. Very few of the original antique lithophanes have survived because the 3D images look crude and worthless unless held in front of a light.
For more information about lithophanes visit the The Blair Museum of Lithophanes.
Here in Dimensional Art Org you see but one example of many Lithophanes I have created. This one is small measuring about 4.5 x 6 inches. I can go much larger with my HB2 machine. The material is Corian (brand) countertop material, originally 0.25 inches thick. I put together this simple prototype lightbox as one way to display this interesting type of art.
Now that I have proven the electricals, I plan to work on larger more elaborate presentations and framing. Follow this LINK to see how a Lithophane is made.