Hi. Have finally got around to making another instructable!
This instructable is being entered in the Hurricane Lasers Contest.
Im currently trying to revamp the art dept at the school where I work and part of that I getting a laser cutter. I want to show the students how to design things for the machine and hopefully inspire and inform them of possible options their futures could take in the world of art and design. I also want the students to design and produce things that they can sell for the school to generate more income for the dept.
Right now im currently working on various ways to raise 50k to do up the dept and winning a laser cutter would be a ginormous help to bring the art dept up to date.
This is how I made EVE from the film Wall-e. It was one of my final pieces for Uni. I studied Modelmaking for Design and Media. Its courses like this I really want to inform and hopefully inspire the kids at school to look into.
(You may also see in the photos another little sculpting project going on - it will be another instructable!)
Step 1: Working Out the Sizes
To get the sizing right for Eve I looked into how she was designed. There wasnt a lot of info I could find about the size so I used scale referencing. Using the scene where she holds a rubiks cube and a light bulb I could work out her height.
Step 2: Forming the Body and Head
After getting the sizes I needed to work out how I was going to make her.
I decided that a fiberglass shell would be both strong and light and would give me the finish I needed.
So now I had to work out how to make the shape I was going to make the fiberglass mold over.
Initially I was advised that lathing wood would make a good form, but it would weigh a tonne! So then I thought that plaster would be easily shaped and smoothed and I can bulk out the majority of it with polystyrene.
Quick trip to B+Q for some large sheets of polystyrene and onto the hot wire in the workshop to cut out the contours for the body and head. (the square ones are the head pieces before being trimmed to circles)
Step 3: Formers for Forming the Body and Head :)
Now I had the polystyrene cut to size I had to create a way of shaping the plaster over the blocks that would leave them evenly covered.
To do this I used to Uni laser cutter to cut out profile shapes from acrylic.
For the body it was a circular base that could have a pole through the middle and a curved acrylic shaper that would spin around the pole.
The head was similar but the head was on a 'spit roast' like design and the acrylic scraper was static. This had to be done because the head was a totally round piece where the body could have a flat section as it was going to be shaped anyway.
Step 4: Cover the Body in Plaster
Now for the fun bit.
I mixed a bowl of plaster and started slapping it on! When needed I spun the scraper around the body to make sure the plaster was creating the right shape. I did it in stages so the plaster had time to settle and to clean off the former regularly otherwise the plaster would gather underneath the spinning bit and this would move it to the wrong position.
Step 5: ....and Now for the Head
Same as with the body. Slap on the plaster, leave to set so it doesnt fall off and slap on more, spin to shape and clean up as you go!
Step 6: Sand and Shape
Once the plaster was all set I could remove the pieces from the formers, shape and smooth them.
Step 7: Seal the Deal
Once the shaping was done I had to seal the plaster using Shellac. This was so when putting on the fiberglass it wouldnt react with any water in the plaster.
After a few coats of Shellac the forms were then polished.
Now they are ready for the fiberglass.
Step 8: Fiberglass the Body
Made the fiberglass in three sections so they would be easily removed from then former.
At the end of it all I now had the mold for Eves body!
Step 9: Fiberglass the Head
A slightly harder task. I had to make sure the join did not go over where her face was going to be cut out as I needed to use the shape to vacuum form the screen for her face.
Step 10: Back to the Body
Now the mold was ready, it was polished (with about 3 or 4 layers of fine wax) so it would release the final cast.
Layering up fiberglass in the mold was tricky but I used a fine fiber mesh to make it easier. Using a white colour in the gel coat was good to use in case the paint that would be put on got scratched at all.
Once out of the mold the body could be cleaned up and any rough bits sanded and smoothed.
I then cut out where the arms would be going.
(as you can see my cat thought I was making a home for her!)
Step 11: Arms
Using the sections of the body mold I could form some fiberglass for the arms.
So they would be light I used these shapes as a former for on the vacuum form machine.
Step 12: Heads Up!
To cast the head was tricky.
First I fiberglassed the top section. When this was dry I cut the face hole out. I could then sit this piece into the bottom section of the mold and fiberglass the underside of the head.
Then another round of smoothing and sanding :)
Step 13: Face Screen
For her screen I made a fiber glass former using the original mold and vac formed super clear styrene.
For the eyes I laser cut loads of sticky dots (couldnt find already done ones the right size) and put them where her eyes were to go on the inside of the face screen. Then I sprayed the back with black and then a translucent blue.
Step 14: Last Few Bits Together
For the arm sections in the body I used vac formed pieces (same as used on actual arms) and fitted them in with car body filler. The body was then lined with foil (this would reflect the light better once fitted)
Am access panel was cut into her back for fitting the neck etc.
For the neck once again is vac formed super clear styrene and frosted on the back. I laser cut stickers and stuck on a ring of angled squares that would be the neck glow. This was then attached in with car body filler.
In the head I used small pieces of styrene around the edges so that the face screen could be sat in but removable and lined with foil after spraying.
Everything was then primed with white primer and sprayed with several light layers of cellulose paint. To create the shine I didnt use lacquer as it can put a yellow tint on white things. I had put on several layers of paint so I could use 'micromesh', a super fine polishing sandpaper, to polish the whole head and body to a mirror shine (this took ages! but worth it).
The stickers were peeled off the neck.
Clear acrylic rods were fitted through the body to hold the head and arms.
A steel bar was fitted through the back so Eve could be attached to the wall to look like she was hovering.
Finally I put LED lights in her (Xmas lights for the body and a couple of small lantern torches in the head). The Xmas lights were great as they could be set to a pulse glow that was perfect for her.
Step 15: FInished EVE!!!!
All finished and on display :)
Hope you liked this instructable!
Runner Up in the
Hurricane Lasers Contest