*notcot in design , 14:45

Roland CNC Test : Andrew Bell Skull in Walnut- 09.10.15


Machining is definitely an art form! As we get to further know the Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S that we unboxed a few months ago and made the Plant Experiment - Lego friendly walnut planters with… next step was to dive into the rotary attachment! Amazing artist (and our good friend!), Andrew Bell, kindly sent over the file for his amazing angry skull, which just called out to be milled in dramatic walnut! The design is also perfect for rotary milling!

First step was getting the rotary attachment set up - then testing it in foam - and on to walnut! While the end result is stunning, some of my favorites are the process stages… like how the rough pass starts to look like corrugated cardboard or how the finished piece looks with eye sockets full of sawdust! Take a peek at the whole process on the next page.

We’d been watching the skulls evolve on skull0a.jpg

… and how the evolved into these stunning sculptures that you can find on his Creatures In My Head website… some of which may still be available! skull0c.jpg


Checking out his 3D model… skull0e.jpg

First try on the rotary got a little “interesting” ~ but the end result is still fun on my desk! skull1.jpg

Adjusting and perfecting settings, we were good to go for one more test in foam! skull1a.jpg



In action -

Finished rough pass… skull1d.jpg

After the finer finishing pass! skull1e.jpg


So slick and evil! skull1g.jpg

So next step - popping in a block of walnut!!! skull1h.jpg

Roughing in action… skull1i.jpg

So corrugated cardboard looking! skull2.jpg

Starting the finishing pass… skull2a.jpg

All done! Isn’t the sawdust in the eye sockets a whole other level of evil? skull3.jpg

Just out of the CNC… skull4.jpg



Sawing off the supports… skull7.jpg

Then on to hand sanding it down to smooth it all out! skull8.jpg

Sanding, sanding, and then staining/sealing a clear coat that really makes the walnut grain pop! skull9.jpg

All in all - success!!! Here are the foam and final walnut versions in the grass alongside some mushrooms that popped up in the yard. skull10.jpg

… and if you want your OWN wooden skulls? Well, go talk to Mr. Bell and maybe we can make something happen!

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