Kim Hat Block: Working on the Scan

After getting such a clean scan of the original hat I was excited to start working on altering the scan into a hat block. To convert my hat scan into a hat block I needed to do a few things:

First, any damage that occurred to the hat over the years of its life needed to be fixed. Fortunately, the hat was in good shape and had only a little caving on one side of the crown. Next I needed to smooth the surface. This was a funny problem to have because it meant my scan was too good. It had far more detail and texture than I wanted. Smoothing the surface without distorting the original shape seemed difficult until I found a function in the 3d editing software Meshmixer that would do it for me. Finally, I needed to add a base to the bottom of the block to make it easier to block.

Now that I had a file for a hat block the next step was to import it into a program that creates shopbot cutting files such as VCarve or Aspire. I used VCarve for the most part but switched to Aspire for some of the more complicated parts. Both programs work well but Aspire has more features.

The ShopBot I used had a 24×18 inch bed and a maximum cut depth of 2 inches. This meant I had to cut my block file into 2 inch slices and lay out the pieces accounting for the grain of the wood, and space efficiency.

Now I’m ready to test out my file! Next step: Cutting the files out in 2in insulation foam!