Designing a H1Z1 skull into a Necklace!
Step 1: Developing Ideas
I have sketched a few sketches of the skull design from the video game "H1Z1" and I have made a couple of changes like for example adding a few more vertices to make it more "military-like", I have tried using tinker cad with an already made skull, however it was too detailed and the in-game skull is very simple.
Step 2: Convert Sketch Into a 2D Design
I have made a simple 4 x 5 cm grid rectangle, then I have designed the skull using the "Draw a series of connected lines" tool in 2D Design. I've colored the skull in red, which means it would be engraved, and I colored the outlines in blue which meant it would be cut.
Step 3: Molding the First Skull Design.
I have engraved the skull design into a mold which I would later pewter cast. Pewter is malleable metal alloy material. Make sure to place a runner into the mold for the pewter to flow.
Step 4: Casting the Skull.
After engraving the skull design into a mold, Turn on the pewter caster and on a flat surface nearby, place a flat piece (the same material as the mold) to cover up the mold. So the pewter does not spill whilst it is running down the mold. After covering up the engraved mold, make sure to place 2 or 3 rubber bands around the closed mold. Make sure the bands aren't too close to the runner or else it may cause the rubber bands to snap caused by the hot pewter. Once you have placed the bands, with gloves on, carefully slide in the mold vertically and make sure the runner is aligned with the notch so that the pewter does not touch the rubber bands or the surface of the mold. Carefully open the notch to let the pewter fill up until about the top of the runner and block the notch from leaking more pewter.
Step 5: Removing the First Prototype From the Mold.
Using a knife, or any sharp object that is fairly thin, "stab" the mold with the knife from under the metal piece that you just casted, and pull your knife upwards and downwards until the metal is loose from the mold.
Carefully pick up the prototype with tweezers and DON'T let go, pour cold water on to the skull metal piece. Now you can hold on to the piece and carefully cut off the runner molded metal from the skull design using a pair of snips.
Analyze your design and check if you would like to improve anything.
Since the "King of the Kill" design is military themed I decided to give the whole design a more rough design.
Step 6: Making Changes the Original Design.
I took the original CAD file from my design (you can see above) and added a more rough design with no specific pattern, and added an extra piece underneath for adding in a specific message. As shown I had filled in the main layer in a specific dark green which allows the engraver to engrave a specific depth, in this case, the depth of the piece did not matter, what did matter was which was deeper than the other. I made sure that in the mold the deepest layer would be the main layer (the outer layer) then its the nose and the filled in part of the forehead, then finally it is the skull. This means that the skull would be the one standing out. I made sure that underneath the filled in lime and pink part there wasn't any green or else the machine would just recognize the design as one large object with the same depth (dark green). I also made sure to leave in gaps for the chains to go in place. 6 in total. 4 being to connect the 2 pieces together and the 2 top one being to form the necklace.
Step 7: Placing the Skull Into a Mold.
Place the skull design into a mold in 2D design and color in the background (the mold) using the top right pink. Place both pieces seperately.
Step 8: Engraving Into the Mold
- Once the mold has been laser engraved you can add a runner, any tool which could cut through the mold in a circular cone and make sure that you keep a small distance between the runner and the mold it self which you can later trim using an x-acto blade. Do that for both molds, than place a flat piece of the same mold and same size to block the pewter from exiting the mold. Than push both together with elastic bands, do for both molds.
- WITH GLOVES, turn on the pewter caster and wait a few minutes, than carefully place your mold into the pewter caster and pull the notch, once filled up, set the mold aside carefully and vertically and wait a few minutes.
Step 9: Final Product + Cold Enameling
- After pewter casting the two pieces, make sure they cool down and apply some cold enameling on the interior of the skull, place 2 drops of cold enamel, 1 drop of hardener and a color of your choice, in my case *red*.
- Do not apply too much cold enamel or else it may spill, since it expands as it dries.
- Once ready, place your piece straight for at least 12 hours to cool down. Then you can connect the 2 pieces together with either chains or any type of string/rope you have. Preferably red string or chains to match.