Introduction: CNC Machining Project: Wild Hives Honey Display

Hi, I am a student studying my Model Making degree. I am in my last year of the three year course and will soon be in the Industry. This Instructables shows my process in how I went about making this Model.

For this project I had to find a client that needed a model made for them. I ended up approaching a Honey company who sell top quality Honey from a market stall in Camden. I liked their concept of buying straight from the bee keeper and using Honey that had not been heat treated and then mass produced.

Working on a market stall meant that they had limited space to display all of their jars of Honey so I liked the Idea of incorporating their product into a Honey comb pattern that would show off their product. I also decided that a scaled up realistic Bee would compliment the whole structure.

Have a read and I hope you enjoy what I've made :)

Step 1:

At this stage I was not completely sure what was appropriate to design for the brief and what requirements needed to be met. These designs feature a board at the bottom of the structure to put more product on. In the end thinking about the level of the table I decided that it would not show off the product to a potential customer. Therefore I decided to do a single honey comb structure that was tilted so that the viewer would be able to see what the product was.

Step 2:

While designing the shape I was making prototypes of the at various stages so that I could show people to get their opinions and critic. I converted my CAD file into abode illustrator so that I was able to laser cut this tester out of mdf. Taking this to the market stall it was easy to see if things looked good or to highlight what needed to change and adapt.

Step 3:

Still creating things 2d on Rhinoceros 5; I played around with the geometric shapes and thought of ways to keep the model the right style for the Honey company. To make the shapes look more organic I added a back panel that was a softer organic shape. I feel that this complimented the sharp structures shapes of the honey comb.

Step 4:

This is my final design as seen on Rhinoceros 5. The measurements of the model are 441x392mm. This features, as I said in the previous step, the organic shaped back panel. On the next level is the whole honey comb section. The text has 4mm depth in the honey comb structure.

One difficulty that I found was that the honey comb shape was too big to fit the specific honey jar that was to be displayed. At the back of the hexagon I have designed a square recess, this makes sure that the jars fit nicely and do not wobble when in the structure. Since this square recess is in the honey comb shape when the honey jar is stored you should not even be able to see it. This makes it look like the honey jar is spaces perfectly in the centre of the hexagon.

Step 5:

This model would have a heavy usage and needed to be durable enough not to get broken or scratched. I decided to use locally sourced Oak. Oak is a hard wood and has great strength. It would also be able to withstand being outside on a rainy day and keep its quality. This Oak purchased was kiln dried, I purchased it as a long plank. To fit my measurements I then cut it into sections to then layer and stick back together to form one strong solid section of wood. To make sure that their were no weak points I layerd the wood as you would when laying bricks. This meant that there were not weak points. I clamped the wood and left it over night to bond together.

Step 6:

This is the wood inside the CNC machine. It was great to watched and see the CAD model come to life. In the pictures I put some of the honey jars in view to show that they fit. For the deep recesses I used a pocketing process to drill out the mass of the material.

Step 7: Making the Bee

I thought that by adding a scaled up bee from a distance it would be obvious what the product was. To make the bee I sculpted it using Plastaline. After achieving the right scale and shape I moulded the body, legs and head.

Step 8:

This shows the two part mould that I made in order to cast the legs of the bee. To mould the legs I used silicone, this is mixed as two parts and comes with its own catalyst. To make sure that no air was trapped in the mould I created bleeder holes that would allow the air to escape when casting. The whole bee was cast in fast cast, a type of fast curing resin.

Step 9:

For the bees wing I wanted them to compliment the wooden honey comb. To do this I laser cut the fine detail of the wing out of 0.5mm walnut veneer. This was very intricate and fragile. I then used clear cast polyester resin to pour over the veneer in a mould to create the wing shape.

Step 10:

The next stage was to assemble all of the sections of the bee together and then paint the be. To paint the bee I used a air brush with acrylic ink. I flocked the bee to make it look more realistic. This puts fine hairs on the surface of the sculpt. I used two different lengths of flock to get a natural effect. Up close bees are surprisingly hairy!

Step 11:

So this is the final product. At the end of this project I am happy with the outcome and learned a lot of skills along the way which is a bonus. I am happy with how effective the square recess is in securing the Honey jars.

I hope you've enjoyed having a look at my project. I'd love to hear any feed back and if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them :)

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