The clients for this project were rather important, as their approval will definitely lead to more work in the future! These particular clients are notorious for leaving their toys out all over the place. Like most kids, they recently ran out of space in which to store their toys. So I decided to help them out by building them something that would allow them to store more toys so that their parents couldn’t get upset with them for not putting their toys away. I mean, that is the root cause of not putting toys away, right? Since I’m basically a big kid, I did some sketches and a few renderings as though I were building this for myself. Red is my favorite color, but I would eventually let the kids pick out the colors for the drawers and the top of the cabinet. The parts were designed on the computer and eventually cut from 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood on the CNC. The face frame was constructed of 8 different pieces which would ultimately generate a master template for the front and back frame assembly. Drawer fronts and front face frame were ultimately skinned with 1/8″ styrene (because I didn’t have time to do extensive filling and sanding work.) The drawer boxes were made with 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood as well.
Since I decided to thermo-form the Ford GT body, I wanted to work out the kinks in a small scale version before I invested in large scale. The capacity of my current thermo-forming platen is roughly 22″x16″, so I would scale down my 3D model to accommodate the forming platen. That meant going back into Cinema 4D and planning for slicing the model apart into several pieces to be machined that would ultimately fit back together like a puzzle. My biggest concern with the GT body was forming the top of the rear rear body, where the engine bay meets the body panel. There’s a very distinct edge that needs to be formed and I wasn’t sure if the vacuum would pull the plastic into all the various contours of the body.
Next stage…..building a large thermo forming machine to accommodate the ½ scale size of the Ford GT….
Check out the pics below for a some progress shots of the building/forming process. Enjoy!
Tail lights…..they are located on the rear of any vehicle and warn others that the vehicle is slowing down. It’s a very important safety element as well as a stylish feature of super cars. The Ford GT is no exception.
What I originally thought was going to be one of the easier parts of this build turned out to be rather complicated. With nothing more than a 1/18th scale model, books purchased at book stores and internet pics to reference, finding details on the tail lights would prove to be a bit challenging. I first set out to develop a model in which to cast in acrylic resin. A red tail lens would incorporate a white lens and both would illuminate. I scrapped this idea early on when I realized that in order to do this properly, I would need to have access to a pressure chamber in which to pressurize the resin to eliminate air bubbles from the resin during the curing process…..and I don’t have a pressure chamber. At the same time, if I was to ever reproduce these things, the cost of resin would be quite costly. So that got me thinking…about thermo forming plastic….hmmm…. I went back to the computer and redesigned the tail lights to be thermo formed. Early prototypes were formed with 0.0625″ thick clear PETG and acrylic. I even attempted to tint the lenses but couldn’t get the color dark enough. I eventually purchased 0.0625″ transparent red acrylic. (No pics yet) Next stage…..thermo forming the body….
Check out the pics below for a some progress shots of the building/forming process. Enjoy!
When you hear the word Ford, you probably think of cars. More specifically, you might think of the Ford Mustang, Ford Explorer, or any of the other current models that Ford has to offer. You’ve met your match if an individual mentions the Ford GT40, which rose to fame during the nostalgic racing days of the 60’s. Most people who know me know that I’m a die-hard Ferrari enthusiast….but this car holds a special place in my list of favorites. It was once dubbed the “Ferrari Killer” many years ago, and the history surrounding the original GT40 makes any racing enthusiast thirsty for more. Ford introduced the concept model GT in 2005. It eventually hit the production lines with only a limited number produced. Today, it is one of the most highly sought after vehicles in the automotive world. The production model’s styling cues resemble the original GT40 MKII’s body style with modern updates. I could go on and on about the detailed history on this famous racer, but rather than proving to you that I know what I’m talking about, you’re probably better off just Googling it…..
So here’s the deal…..I was asked to replicate the back end of the concept GT. Half-scale, to be exact….which brings the overall dimensions to 36″ wide x 16″ high x 12″ deep. The original idea was to create the replica out of fiberglass, but that eventually proved to be overkill. I’ll be posting a variety of pics, in chronological order, that update my progress on this build. Spoiler alert: early in the build, I decided that the best way to build this (and I will eventually build several) was to thermo-form the main body parts. Yes, it was a dramatic change in my process, but a necessary evil.
Check out the pics below for a some progress shots of the building process. Enjoy!
Those who know me best claim that my side projects always revolve around cars. My latest certainly does not! Since the Chicago Blackhawks are a vey well-liked hockey team here in the Chicago area, it was only fitting that I show some pride for my home team….even though I’ll always stay true to my beloved team, Ferrari. What we’ve got here is a 24″ x 24″ x 2.25″ backlit wall sign featuring the infamous Chicago Blackhawks logo. A grand total of 201 cool white LEDs illuminate this sign using a single 12V power supply and it weights just shy of 20 lbs. The main shell of the sign and the removable back panel are both made of ½” plywood. Black paint is regular spray paint from Home Depot and the front face is gloss black RPET. The actual Blackhawk colored graphic is printed on backlight film and protected with a clear PVC over lam. This one is the first of three that I’m making, so hopefully they get a little bit easier by the third one! HA! Check out the progress pics below as well as a couple finals of the project. Enjoy!
This was a project that I did recently for myself. I get quite a few car magazines and had seen something recently that caught my eye…..wall displays inspired by the many race track configurations in the world, including Formula One, Nascar, and Indy. So naturally, I thought the Formula One series was pretty cool and decided to make one myself. I chose the Formula One race track in Austin Texas….The Circuit of the Americas.
It all started with two sheets of ½” baltic birch plywood glued together. The glued pieces were then laminated with a sheet of painted styrene. Once complete, the piece was adhered to the CNC table using painters tape. (I could have used double-sided tape) The cutting process only required 3 programs…one for the outside profile, one for the inside profile, and finally a bevel on the top edge to finish off the sides. Cutting time took approximately 18 minutes total. I considered using screw brackets to mount the piece to the wall, but I wanted some depth so I decided to use metal stand-offs, therefore allowing the race track to sit 1-½” off the wall. I used a 1″ extension rod for ceiling fans and cut pieces slightly oversized. I then chucked them into a lathe and machined the ends to their final length. I cut keyhole slots in the back of the display, figured out where to screw holes into the wall, and attached the stand-offs. It looked ok, but I felt it was missing something so I decided to add the “Circuit of the America’s” logo. I could have cut the logo into the face of the display, but it would have been tiny and I didn’t want to destroy the nice, continuous smooth surface of the race track. I came up with a plan to incorporate a piece of acrylic into the display and cut the logo out of vinyl and adhere to the acrylic panel. When I was finished with Austin, I decided to make the infamous Monaco race track! Check out the pics below for a couple progress shots as well as the final displays. Enjoy!
I was recently approached by Werner Co to build some custom tabletop and napkin holder displays for a PR event at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. They were hosting a private party after the STAFDA show and needed some brand awareness at the party. Since the environment would be rather dark, it was decided that we would illuminate the displays. However, we couldn’t build anything that needed to be plugged into an outlet, so it would have to be powered by battery. The event would last approximately 4-6 hours, so the batteries would have to last the duration of the event. Initially, I contemplated creating each tabletop display base out of wood, but after crunching some numbers, I decided it was best to cast them using resin. That would require building a flawless form for the base so that each base would be identical.All the acrylic panels would have company branding etched into them, so I needed to decide whether they would be cut with CNC or etched using sandblast techniques. I opted for sandblast since I was on a tight deadline.
This is a project that I am currently in the process of designing. I was asked to design a custom display that would showcase a pin and keychain collection. The client currently has an Arc Display, shown in this gallery, and wanted the pin/keychain display to compliment the Arc Display. The shadowbox display that currently houses the collection was purchased from a craft store. Check out the gallery below for the original shadowbox, concept drawings, and renderings for this project.
At the time of this project, Dremel Power Tools, a division of Bosch Power Tools, was achieving great success with the launch of their newest tool, the Multi-Max. This tool performed such operations as cutting, sanding, and scraping by using oscillation, a very fast vibration. It didn’t have spinning or reciprocating movements, so it was impressive to most people. This type of tool was currently on the market and produced by another manufacturer, but its starting price of $300 made it an unreasonable purchase to the average consumer. So Dremel came out with this tool for $99. However, the price tag alone was not going to sell the tool. This was the kind of tool that needed to get into the hands of the consumer, in order for it to sell. I was asked to develop several designs of in-store demonstration merchandisers to be used at The Home Depot. The merchandisers would not only serve as a demo station, but they would also stock the tools and accessories. These merchandisers were going to be used as examples for the sales staff to build right there in the store, so the materials included needed to be available in the store.
Every year, Dremel holds a North American Sales Conference near their headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Sales representatives from all over the country fly in for a week to review new products. They also participate in hands-on building exercises where they get to use current products as well as products of the future. I’ve been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to not only develop the building projects for the exercise, but also build sample projects to be used as inspiration. In all of the projects, I built 3D models of my ideas before construction. I then submitted the 3D renderings for final approval. The images are then used by Dremel’s marketing team and sent out via email to all the sales representatives as a means to generate excitement for the project in the weeks prior to the conference. The goal of the projects is to use a variety of Dremel tools and accessories to build the project. The sales representatives are usually put into teams of 15-20 people and have an elaborate selection of materials that each team can select from in which to build the project. The following gallery includes images of the final project as well as computer renderings that I created. Enjoy!