Growing up Greek-Cypriot, I am constantly hearing stories about the homeland and have visited many times, so I wanted to show my love for the island and create a piece for my grandparents. I first 3D modeled the land of Cyprus on Fusion 360 with a frame. Once my design was completed, I used the ShopBot to mill out the surrounding area of the island. When the area was milled, I filled the gap with blue and white resin to replicate the ocean. The original plan included using mycelium substrate, but that did not grow properly, so I used scrap material I found in the space. Since the wood I used is a natural material, it gives the piece an organic aesthetic with a glossy finish of blue resin.
The project took around 7 hours of work to create – 1 hour for the design, 3 hours to mill it out, 2 hours for resin [24 hours in between each layer to harden] 1 hour to clean the edges up and add finishing touches.
This is a screenshot of the Fusion 360 software, where I 3D modeled Cyprus. I started off with an Illustrator file then imported it into Fusion 360 to extrude and add the border.
Milling it Out
After modeling my piece, I used the ShopBot to mill out the surrounding area. Since it was a big piece of scrap, I had to cut the excess off with a Jigsaw. After milling, I used the Bandsaw to fix the edges and the belt sander to smooth the wood.
I mixed blue and white Mica powder into resin, to create a glossy and wavy finish to the ocean around the island. Two layers and used a popsicle stick to add swirls to give it a 3D look. I let it harden for 24 hours in between each layer, covered so no particles get into it, and made sure it was on a flat surface so it wouldn’t shift and dry unevenly.
I want to try adding more layers of resin and mixing more shades of blue, and possibly other colors in. Using a heat gun could also help add a more flared and bubbly look. Lastly, I also want to experiment with different materials and shapes, as well as adding a 3D milled pattern to the “floor” to see how it shows up below the resin and form underwater mountains/waves.
Materials/Softwares You’ll Need:
- Adobe Illustrator or Fusion 360
- Epoxy Resin
- Colored Mica Powder
- Popsicle Sticks
- Measuring Cup
- Mixing Cups
- Plastic Gloves
- Garbage Bag (to protect table)
- Jigsaw (to cut your piece)
- Saw and Sander (to clean it up)
To begin designing and prototyping your own project, please visit the MakerSpace Training and Reservations page to learn more about how you can utilize the MakerSpace and get trained. We recommend learning the Othermill before learning the ShopBot. If you need advice or guidance for your project, visit the Mentoring page to reserve a session with one of our experts!