The final experiment in The London Plane Project was to create a small batch job on a CNC machine to explore the materials value in repetition and uniformity. I drew a picture of a London Plane leaf and imported it into software for the CNC machine to mass produce. I would finish these leaves by hand being careful not to alter the faces of the leaves and their uniformity maintained.
Regarding Software. I started by using Autodesk Fusion but this heavy and complicated software is more appropriate for complex, multi layered models and also the more geometric. The simple yet organic image of the leaf was more suited to another application – Vectrix, were I imported my vector directly into the application without the need to extrude or further manipulate.
Observations on it working. Some of the stock twisted over the weekend and the cutter passed through deeper at one end of the stock to the other but with planning and sanding this discrepancy was easily removed. And despite my worries, the sharpness and speed of the cutter passed over knots without exploding the stock. This was a simple job and problems only really occurred during the setting up of the machine itself and once tested the cutting out of a leaf form was never going to be a challenge from a milling point of view.
Ultimately, repetitive uniformity is what was needed and this is what has been achieved - the different figures and grain pattern has been accentuated when captured within the standardised form. A fitting finish to the London Plane Project – showcasing the variety of tones and textures from one timber.