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David Van Brink // Sat 2007.03.3 16:29 // {Uncategorized}

Hacking Sawdust Part IV: The Render

This is the fourth and, frankly, anticlimactic part, of four parts. Start at the first part.

Suppose you wanted to make one of these:

One way to do it would be to follow the steps in the first three parts of this article, and then going to Sears to get a primitive replicator called a “Compucarve”. Or a “Carvewright”. There’s some branding confusion. But it’s a nifty device, and, given a bitmap, will carve wood.

After preflighting the whole Photoshop file through my viewer to my satisfaction, its finally time to put it into the “Carvewright Designer” software, which comes with the carving apparatus. It’s an ok application, but importing and viewing a bitmap takes about ten clicks and a new unique name. And that’s the motivation for my faster viewer program.

From there, you save the design to their proprietary flash card, carry the card to the garage (if you’re me) where the wood printer is, and pop it in. From the front panel, choose the name of the design you like, and press go.

If you’ve done any computer-media projects, you’re probably familiar with the “Waiting For The Render” experience. For most such projects, the logical time to fire off the render is at night, so you can spring out of bed in the morning and “Check On The Render”.

(I had two weeks of that doing the five distinct camera angles for the “Planetarium of Dreams” part of this little movie.)

Rendering the final sawdust is no different. Except that the renderer is insanely loud and you can’t just go to sleep with it running at night in a decent neighborhood which is where I live thank you. So unfortunately it’s midday rendering only, for this gadget.

Wear ear protection!

It takes about an hour to carve medium-sized projects, and it’s rather hypnotic to watch.

Eventually it grinds to a stop. And there’s your atoms.

And a lot of sawdust.

With the toolflow in hand, it becomes possible to create many fascinating bits of art with endless decorative uses, indoors and out.

I love this future!

oh, i dont know. what do you think?

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