This is another entry into the SHOPBOT contest. I am part of a very small group of friends, artists and creative engineers who are constantly dreaming up fun ideas for projects. We are lucky enough to find funding for many of them. We also collectively use CNC routed products extensively, but always out$ource those. Having a CNC router and AutoCAD would be the most amazing catalyst for us and I can guarantee would result in some genuine advancements in our creative endeavors. - speaking as humbly as I can; collectively, I don't know of a more deserving group. Now onto the Instructable...
A burlesque dancer friend hired me to create a set of four giant butterfly puppets for a new routine. They had some specific challenges: In addition to looking beautiful and reasonably lifelike, they needed to be relatively easy to operate, portable, lightweight and durable. Not having any similar puppets to research, I had to design these with my best judgement and hope that the result would be as intended.
There were two reasons for cutting the butterfly wing patterns from the plastic sheet. The wings would be lightweight enough to not flex more than desired. I wanted the puppet to flap it's wings, not have the wings bend. Also, cutting the designs allowed for a translucent fabric to create the color and texture of each butterfly. The translucency creates a fantastic effect.
Each wing was cut 4 times from the plastic. Twice for each wing, so that the fabric could be laminated in between. Antennae were also cut to add to the head later on. The wing design was important to have a straight edge where it would meet in the center.
When the Sintra parts arrive, A variety of sheer lightweight fabrics, some with iridescence were then cut to fit into each of the various cutouts. Some sections of fabric were used to span more than one section. Gorilla glue was used to secure the fabric and each layer of the Sintra in place, laminated into one solid wing. Also, a strip of theatrical gel in a dark gray color was used as a strong but flexible hinge between the two wings.