Pixel Art out of Metal

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ProtoMAX Master
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:48 pm

Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:22 am

ryuman finished.png
Now the ProtoMAX has etch feature you can create pixel art out of metal. Here is one I did real quick. Took about 10 mins to path it and 12 mins to cut. It was super easy too!!!... Thats a lie, it wasn't easy to figure it out. But if any one out there wants a tutorial on how to path grids, I will write one!

Here is a quick version on how I did it.

Stage 1 Load image for tracing and make your path
ryuman image Drawing.png
Stage 2 check you path for the silluoette
ryuman pathing.png
ryuman pathing.png (51.41 KiB) Viewed 6464 times
Stage 3 Sandblast and prime your artwork

Stage 4 paint your work! (see top)
(19.51 KiB) Downloaded 191 times
Last edited by ProtoMAX Master on Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dave F
OMAX Employee
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:13 pm

Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:54 am

That is genius. Great looking part. We'll definitely want to show that at trade shows. Can you send or post the .omx file if not proprietary?
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ProtoMAX Master
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:48 pm

Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:24 am

not sure, I can just make one from scratch so it 100% safe
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:32 pm

Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:35 pm

Awesome part and concept. I am wondering however, why all the travel? Couldn't you just link all the etch lines into a big "zig-zag" for lack of better term. Wouldn't it be much faster to never stop etching rather than starting and stopping many times?
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Carl O
OMAX Employee
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:43 am
Location: OMAX Corporation

Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:18 am

That part absolutely could be done a lot faster and more efficiently with fewer traverses. I would do a zig-zag pattern where the end of one zig is connected to the next zag, something like this:
EtchSmall.png (7.87 KiB) Viewed 6355 times
That way, the jet never has to turn off and on so many times, the length of the path is shorter, and the corners are rounded so less slow down required there as well. This would result in way less time spent making the part, as well as less wear and tear on the machine.

To take it a step further, (if I wanted to spend the time to optimize this for production), I would trim down the etches so they don't go quite so far off the path. A quick way to do that would be to use the "shell" command to expand the outer geometry of the part by say 20mm or so, and then use the "intersection divide selected" command to break the etch lines where they intersect the shell, and then erase portions of the shell and original etches so that is is a zig-zag pattern that is closer into the part. I think this is an unnecessary optimization if only making one or two such parts, though, as the simple zigzag shown above is a good balance between lazy programming and cycle time.

For example, here I etch a pentagon in zig-zags with only 2 jet on cycles, and much shorter distances of etching. (I don't have the original posters geometry, so I just used a pentagon as a placeholder for demonstration):
EtchPentagonSmall.png (12.47 KiB) Viewed 6355 times
To take it a step further, the traverse between the final etch and the lead in is unnecessary, so I could just make that etch, and then the etches that are off the part could have some "fillets" added to round their corners to avoid some slow down there.
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