How to Take a Design From Paper to Metal
Kevin is starting a new commission for an 8-foot-tall metal tree with spinning flowers. How does he build what he drew in his CAD drawing?
You have to start some place. Kevin has the CAD drawing he made to help him start sketching out the trunk of the tree so he can get his sizes right.
Because the sculpture is going to be about 8 feet tall, the proportions in the drawing show that it's going to be about 6 to 7 feet across.
So how big is the trunk? Part of Kevin's job is how to figure out proportions to get things to look right.
He's going to want about a 2 -3-foot diameter baseplate under the sculpture, because he knows the site where it is going to go.
Even though Kevin has gotten fairly decent with CAD, he still likes to draw out what he's working on full size, whether he's sketching on his workbench, on the floor, or on a whiteboard. Anything that can help him visualize whatever he is making is helpful.
First Kevin draws a circle that he compares to the drawing. If the tree itself is 8 feet tall and the diameter is about 6 to 7 feet across, that's makes the base of the trunk about 24 inches.
Kevin shows some arcs where the branches feed into the trunk. Otherwise, the trunk will just look like a pipe. Letting the branches stick out a bit gives the trunk just a little bit more shape and texture. It also gives some place to weld.
That stick out puts the trunk at about 27-1/2". Now the sculpture's trunk is past its 24" baseplate. Using a tape measure and a center point, Kevin shows what a 36" baseplate would look like. It would give him plenty of room to put in some bolt holes for anchoring the sculpture.
So now that he knows the approximate diameter of the trunk that he wants to make.
Kevin shows how the "little bumps" that relate to the branches are the actual exterior - the circle he drew initially was only for reference.
Now that he knows the approximate size of the trunk he can figure out the approximate length of the outside "bumps" that relate to the branches.
So it's time for Kevin to go back to his CAD program and sketch out the branch sections that will form the trunk. Next stop: the CNC plasma table so everything is nice, square, straight, pretty and ready to go with just a little clean up.
Then Kevin will take the pieces of aluminum to the slip roll to roll out the shapes. He'll take all the different sections and shape them a little bit, give them a little character.
So that's going to take Kevin Caron's project from a flat piece of metal plate to probably 3- to 3-1/2 feet tall. That's the start of the trunk, then he can start working on the branches themselves as they come up out of that trunk and start to bend over.
Kevin is ready to get some measurements, so you have time to subscribe to see more free how to videos and to visit http://www.kevincaron.com to Kevin Caron's wild sculpture.
Well, you might want to stick around for another moment to recall classic horror from the classroom ....
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