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Mark Cheverton

Geek, maker, artist, and entrepreuneur. CTO at Redgate software.

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Enumerating Makespace #1 - Model Prep

Makespace

I am very fortunate to have one of the best hacker spaces in the country on my doorstep. Makespace has been open a little over a year, and provides access to a comprehensive set of equipment to the local maker community.

One of the challenges of such a wide choice, is that members don't really know what's possible with the kit or aren't familiar with materials. So I am undertaking a project to produce a piece of artwork which will demonstrate the range of what can be achieved at Makespace.

The piece will be made up of a repeating element fabricated in different materials. For this I chose a skull as it's a common practice form in art, is easily recognisable, and renders well if you only have 3 axis to play with. I found a high quality skull model on Grabcad which will be the base model I'll work from.

Skull Skull pattern Skull mould

The first task was to generate a few basic models that I'll need for fabrication. I used Meshmixer to rotate the model and cut a plane so that we're only dealing with the face. Next I merged all the parts in the model (the teeth and jaw were separate) and filled spaces, such as under the jawbone, by extruding the top plane of the model. I generated a shell version, a solid version, and using boolean operations I created a negative for moulding (this took a lot of time to cleanup - I'd love an easy tool to create moulds from patterns).

In the next part, I'll create the basic forms with the CNC machine, which is a precursor to being able to use many of the other techniques available.