Step 5: CNC/Mach3 Operation

Continuing on, now we can use the g-code and cut out my face. Here I am using Mach3 to operate my homebuilt CNC router.

I just line up the tip of the mill bit with the top of the foam. Then I zero all the axes in Mach3. If you want it to cut a little into the foam on the top you can set the z position to 0.1 or something like that. It now thinks that it is 0.1 over the surface and it will cut into the foam.

Up to this point we haven't done anything to set the scale of the mold, it is just whatever the 3D model happens to be. We can see the dimensions now in Mach3 and there are a few ways to proceed.

The way I did it was to use the preview in Mach3 to take some measurements and determine the scale factor I needed. Of course we could also have done that earlier in the 3D modeling step, that probably would have been smarter. Well, that is why we do this, to learn.

Now simply add a scaling command in your gcode. G50 resets the scaling. And for example, if the scale was 2.5 use:
G51  X2.5 Y2.5 Z2.5

Now the mold is scaled to your face. 

One final trick. Freemill wasn't sophisticated enough to cut the mold out in layers. It just cut all the way down to my nose in one go. This is a problem since I don't have a 3" long bit. I got around this problem by cutting a few times but with different Z scales. This allowed it to slowly carve out the mold. It is important to check that your Z-axis wont hit the top of foam when cutting all the way down. Fortunately the face is a gentle curve, so the dremel itself (my router for foam) wont hit the foam when cutting.

My bit was long enough to cut this out in two steps. So I first set my Z scale to 1.25 and let it run. This was only to remove enough material so that I could cut all the way down on the next pass. You may or may not have to do this.

So now we have the foam mold. Next we will pour the plaster mold.

So cool!
Amazing !
I'm not very techy, though I'm not incompetent and do manage all my needs myself (in the end!), but what you describe is very, very long and intricate and it seems much - MUCH - easier to just MAKE A MASK by the (a) traditional, old-fashioned, hand method.
Where's the fun in that?
Obviously you've never made your own masks. <br> <br>Not only can you make a hard mask the old way, but you can make silicon &quot;soft&quot; masks too. <br>And they still cost less.
I don't want to appear picky, but I think you mean 'silicone soft masks'. Silicon is like glass, so not flexible! Do you pour the rubber over your face? I suppose you could use PVA , but don't forget to grease up first.
Why in the world would you pour it -directly- on your face?! <br>You'd make a mold first and pour the compound into the mold. <br>And of course I'm talking about the rubberized silicon. <br>*Face palm*
I guess I should have put a smiley face behind that comment as you did not get my humor. This site is about creating, having fun, innovating. My instructable wasn't about cost. It was about a neat way to do something. This is one specific idea, but if you can do this, then you can do a lot. It's about looking at things in a new way.
Yes! Sometimes we just need fun! Creative things bring us happiness. But it is hard to find 3d printer at China.
Was thinking the same thing. It's an interesting as a tech demo, but for anyone wanting to make a mask of themselves for any reason other than that it's very much doing things the longer, harder, more expensive way.
First, where is the love? Second, if you have access to a CNC or 3D printer this process is pretty cheap, and it allows for alteration of the model on the computer. Third, this will work for all sorts of objects, with no contact. Isn't it pretty cool that you can go from just pictures to a usable 3d model and then work with that?
People who have personal access to that stuff are still very much in the minority, so for most readers this project would cost hundreds of dollars. Alteration of the model, in the case of a mask, is no less easy when using &quot;old fashioned&quot; methods. You can also get more detail resolution that way than is available with most printers or CNC machines.<br><br>Yes, it's very cool that you can do these sort of things. It isn't currently practical/economical for mask making though, (that will change at some point probably within the decade, but not right now). I can think of a lot of things these technologies are very practical/economical for currently, so it is interesting, but as I sad, in this application it's (currently) only valuable as a tech demo. There are lots of instructables already existing that cover these techs/methods though, so saying the methods here can be adapted for other things doesn't salvage much extra value.<br><br>Please try to understand that mild, civil criticism is not a &quot;lack of love&quot;. It's not my intention to insult you or your efforts, nor am I saying you shouldn't submit them, but it wouldn't be reasonable or rational for anyone to only expect (or accept) only flattery for their efforts either. Even best friends disagree and correct each other.
You could make a gear lever tip of your face
have you seen the commercial version of this at http://thatsmyface.com/ ? you did a good job of doing the same thing but they seem to have the color printing side of it down pat. Somewhat expensive though! <br> <br>Interesting that they can render a 3d model from just 2 images.
That looks neat. The painting is really the hard part so they have me beat there. I wonder if they have some model that they are using to generate the face structure, two pictures doesn't seem to be enough to build a 3D model from.
Actually a parametric model makes perfect sense - calibrate first from the frontal image, aligning eyes, nose, ears, chin, corner of the mouth etc, and then apply a Z depth to each of the alignment points from the side-on image. That must be what they're doing.<br> <br> I would imagine that the 2-d front-on part of the calibration would be identical to what is done to calibarte the &quot;<a href="http://www.portraitprofessional.com/photo_editing_software/" rel="nofollow">Portrait professional</a>&quot; program that is used for automated retouching of portrait photographs. (first few seconds of the linked video)&nbsp;<br> <br> Now if you could only add a movable mouth, you'd have a great Mission Impossible mask.&nbsp; But even without that, these will be great for halloween - especially for a severed head prank!
This is awesome. The other people who are discounting this are &quot;near sited&quot; (so I follow the &quot;be nice&quot; policy). It's not about the mask making, it's about this innovative process. I wish someone like yourself was my neighbor. We'd build all sorts of neat stuff....Take care...
Thank you for the kind comment. I'd be glad to have you as a neighbor, building in a community is way more fun.
just make a life mask like a death mask!!!!!!!!!!
Nice! <br>Im gonna try it out after my cnc machine is complete
great instructable!
Thank you!
Thanks! <br>
Sorry Bro, but you just re-invented the wheel. <br>This is easier done with plaster and alginate and not as costly. <br> <br>And you have the added benefit of having a mold on hand 24/7.
Of course you can do it that way. I certainly was not under the impression that I invented mask making. <br> <br>Don't you think that it is a slick way to do it? That you can go from just pictures to a functioning mask or any object for that matter. BTW, I did make a mold which is on hand???
Janet Jetson's Morning Mask!

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