Instructables
Picture of Turn almost any 3d shape into a real object
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I'm going to show you guys how to turn almost any 3d shape you have into a real object. I used a regular hot wire cnc. The hot wire cnc is that computer controlled machine that cuts letters out of eps or xps foam. I actually saw an instructable on this site about making a cheap hot wire cnc. Adding a turning table to a foam cutter cnc allows you to make any round shape like columns, vases, spheres, eggs. I'm going to show you how you can create complexe shapes using a turning table. My goal was to make two pieces of 3 meters Anubis. Anubis was a god in egiptian culture with human body and jackal head. I didn't make the 3d figure, I actually found it for free on the internet so I'm only showing you the technique I used to convert a 3d shape into a real life object.


Please vote my instructable in the "Make it real challange"... Thanks
 
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Step 1: Cut your 3d shape to make it fit in your hot wire cnc

Picture of Cut your 3d shape to make it fit in your hot wire cnc
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The first thing I did was to cut the 3d object in smaller pieces for two reasons: 1. it had to fit in my foam cutter cnc (that is 60 cm high); 2. I only needed the left half of the body for the next process, because, you'll see in a minute that I easily mirrored it.

Step 2: Rotate and render the 3d object using only paralel projection

Picture of Rotate and render the 3d object using only paralel projection
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Very important in this next process is to use "paralel projection" instead of regular "perspective" camera. The next step was to take each and every object piece, rotate it, and render it after each rotation. The program I used had a rotation tool that allowed me to rotate it by 15 degrees. So I rotate every piece 12 times clockwise and made images of it.
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grey_starr2 years ago
Wow - those are so Sweet! That still takes a lot of artistic skill... I DO play with foam, and I know for a fact what I do is not anthing close to that quality.
Edgar2 years ago
Great idea, voted on it, and it's on my Portuguese Blog, so a lot of Portuguese an Brazilians can make their Carnaval and other kinds of artwork, that way:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.com/2012/02/carnaval.html
mr.frob2 years ago
Very cool, great job!
grundisimo2 years ago
THE coolest thing I've ever seen. nice job! :)
WineSoaked2 years ago
Freaking awesome mod to a CNC. Simple, but man, the options it opens up for construction are huge! Well done!
buteomont2 years ago
This is cool times ten. Now what are you going to do with them?
davidandora2 years ago
Fantastic Instructable, and a great example to showcase. Thanks!
rimar20002 years ago
Beautiful
Edgar7 months ago

Hello, there, long time no see! :)

Here's a small Ponoko laser cut jig I've made, based on this Method:

http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/products/3d-styro-cutter-7420

Those stautes would be great covered iwith plaster cast strips or stucco cdment to make them more durable. Do you do this as a professional business or just as a hobby? Either way outstanding results. I wish I had the room and devices to make such creations for myself.
propart (author)  akagoldminer2 years ago
My wife and I are both sculptors and we always search for professional challenges. I don't know if that goes in the "professional business" criteria but we try to be professional about it :))) It's more like a hobby that pays itself sometimes. Thanks. Oh and we did covered them with white stucco cement, you can see in the last photos I think.
Hello,
First I want to congrat you for this well done project. Amazing!
I have few question...Where from did you buy your CNC and what size is it? (max. load size), how much did cost?
Can you tell me what brand of white stucco cement did you buy?

Thank you and keep up the good work!
propart (author)  mbonciu1 year ago
One friend made it for me. It cost me 1500 euro, but I know you'll find great tutorials here to make one yourself. The size I have is 65/65/1400 cm. I used decorative plaster Oskar Ceramic. thanks
spider871 year ago
These are awesome! I don't have a hot wire cutter but I've always wanted huge statues around my house so I just might have to make one... This is awesome!!!
clax2 years ago
How convert the 3d image to profile path ? ( in other words How to export the parallel view in sketchup?) Thanks
propart (author)  clax2 years ago
The free sketchup doesn't export vector. I make it this way: I make the whole object black in sketchup, and the enviroment white. Also make sure you don't see edges, shadows, fog or axes in the view menu. Print screen, paste in corel, edit bitmap to crop the object you need and then trace bitmap in corel. Make sure that in the end, after you finish all 12 views they all have the same height. In sketcup, if you make the object group, then it will be surrounded by a blue line. You can use that for your cutting path (because you need the wire to cut the shape and not go under the shape, so it goes, cuts the shape and come back on the ex-blueline) Let me know how it goes. If you need more help send me a private mesage
time to make a life-size earth! now all we need it the materials...
Edgar2 years ago
Liked this idea so much, I've made a Ponoko Plan out of a Destop version of this:
http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/products/3d-styro-cutter-7420
lordduckx2 years ago
Hey, Awesome 'ible!

Three questions, what kind of foam did you use to cut out of, how much did it cost, and where did you get it from? I'm really interested in replicating this!
propart (author)  lordduckx2 years ago
Thx,
Three answers: I used expanded polystyrene and I found it in big blocks, I used 2 square meters but I actually bought more, the store I got it from doesn't have a website but the prices they had were similar to this: http://www.scaonline.co.uk/eps-single-blocks---white-99-c.asp , so according to this site it would cost you about £ 142,78. You don't have to make it 3 meters, you can make it smaller or bigger ;) . I can't wait to see the result. Keep me posted.
MrPTrog2 years ago
Couldn't you cut both pieces at the same time with 2 turntables by counter rotating them after each cut? Assuming your cut area was wide enough to fit 2 turn tables of course.
propart (author)  MrPTrog2 years ago
You answered your own question. Sure you can, if you have a wide cut area. I didn't considered speeding up the process because making 2 giant 3 meters staues in 10 days was fast enough for me...
sakkidra2 years ago
Love the carvings! I have been a foam carver for about 15yrs, doing stuff for amusement parks, malls, movies, etc. I never got to use a CNC, that sure would have made my job easier. I had to do it the old fashioned way, like marble sculpting. Here's a tip: Go buy a Curry Comb, they are used to groom horses. Remove some of the outer rings for the best performance. These are awesome for sanding your large areas fast. One thing I will warn you about. I developed a sensitivity to the foam after about 10yrs of fine sanding and cutting with a hot wire. Even with a respirator. Darn stuff makes me itch like crazy for weeks any time I carve now. I pretty much stopped doing it because of that. I can't even use petroleum based products anymore. So don't let people tell you it's inert and won't harm you, because it can over time. Cover your skin as much as you can to slow down the chance of it happening. I really miss carving, and only do it a little now. If you ever need any tips let me know.
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tinker2342 years ago
wow do you mind telling me a way to make the cnc you used

you know for his hand is he supposed to be holding something
propart (author)  tinker2342 years ago
I didn't built my hot wire cnc, I just added the turning table, but here is a link to the instructable on this site that teaches you how to make a cheap hot wire cnc http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-CNC-Hot-Wire-Foam-Cutter-from-parts-availab/ . Make that cnc (my cnc is not much different, it just cuts foam with a hot wire. Adding the turning table makes it special)
I modified his hands. Yes he would supose to hold a scepter in one hand and a key in his other hand
thanks what program do you use for the model
propart (author)  tinker2342 years ago
I used sketchup. But I think you can use any 3d program like 123D or Rhino 3D or even Max. They all have similar commands that you can use for what I've done.
wow thanks sketchup suprised most models i have are not that good
propart (author)  tinker2342 years ago
Go on google sketchup warehouse. You'll be amazed
thanks
batman962 years ago
Anubis is also a half ascended Goauld off of sg-1!
Indeed.
You win. :)
Microbe2 years ago
The middle one is the most realistic
scenicruzer2 years ago
Why not use a stepper motor for the turntable?
propart (author)  scenicruzer2 years ago
Well, I'm just showing a way to easily improve a hot wire cnc. I don't know if it really needs a motor because it's a slow process anyway. I think a motor is good when you want to rotate and cut at the same time, for making a screw-shaped column for example
docree2 years ago
I see almost everyone sanding their foam with the normal sanding tools. Could someone use a small handheld "hot knife" or a heat gun for this part?
propart (author)  docree2 years ago
Yeah, I know it's messy, but I think sanding it's the best way to finish the shape. You could use the hot knife to make nice textures like bark texture or wooden texture. The heat gun is good for cleaning the surface and melting the fluffy powder left by the sanding (the paint sticks even better then).
docree propart2 years ago
Thanks, for the tips! I'm going to be working with Styrofoam in the near future. Trying to find out as much as I can.
propart (author)  docree2 years ago
Ok, if you have other questions just ask.
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