Introduction: Low Poly Batman Wall Art
Welcome everyone to my instructable. It's been a long time since I stopped posting content over here just because I change my line and started a business but unfortunately, it didn't work as I expected. That's a different story, so I am not gonna talk about that too much. The metalworking contest is quite close to me because this contest increases my confidence a lot and whatever I am today, this wonderful community, team Instructables and my brother is the major reason for that. This instructable is about making low poly metal sculpture from basic design to final execution. Being a geometric pattern these sculptures are extremely time-consuming to make and since there are multiple bends there you need precision also because if you do not pay attention to it then at first pieces definitely get connected but once they reached the final closing section then at that time you are going to get the problem. Now conversion of the flat logo into low poly metal art is much easier than the animal face or human figure because in animal and human bodies, you need to take care of the contour of the body parts but in logo conditions are a bit different. So this instructable is all about that and if you like this instructable and made an attempt then definitely leave your feedback down in the comments section.
Here is the list of tools and materials used.
- Tig welding machine
- Angle grinder
- sanding disk
- Flap disk
- Orbital sander
- Drill Machine
- Mild steel sheet
- 3 core wire
- SP601E Bluetooth led controller
- WS2812 led strip
- 5v Power Adapter
Step 1: Design the Low Poly Logo.
The designing part is a portion that was hard for me to explain because there are so many different ways you can design a single thing using different types of software and with a bunch of different ways. So here I am explaining that method which seems easier to me and I hope it would be easier for you too. So the software I am using for this is Maya from Autodesk. You can use the student version for that or you can use Fusion 360 also if you know the same command.
So to design low poly Batarang first thing required is a reference image. Now you can simply go without reference also if you can draw the exact shape, but mine isn't that good.so I am going with the reference image.
1. For that open Maya and on the toolbar menu icon click on the image. Once you click the image icon a new screen appears and you can select the image. After clicking on the image and opening it, it will automatically be placed in the modeling area.
2. Next thing you need to do is in the poly modeling tab click on cube and press enter.
3. Now on your right side click on the channel box tab and under that, there are section name shapes. Under that, there is a polycube written under inputs. Click on that. Once it's open click on subdivision and type 2 in subdivision width. Now your cube is divided into two parts. From thereafter go into face selection and select half of the faces and delete them
4. Now double-click on the move tool on the left sidebar. Toolbox appears and inside that, there is an option called symmetry. Click on that and turn it on according to your axis, in my case it is the x-axis. Underneath that, there is an option named preserve seme. Make sure to turn it on.
5. Now go into the edit menu and click on duplicate special and in the scale option write down -1. Now whatever you do on the right side it appears on the left side also.
6. Now open double scenes and by using W, E, and R buttons change the shape and size of the box. If select the face then by pressing the shift button you can extrude that surface. Now you definitely need a little amount of info to learn all this and this is quite easy to do.
7. By using the multicut tool you can divide the face into multiple sections. By using the w,e,r keys you can change the shape and size of the flat faces.
So once the design is ready export it as an obj file and use Pepakura to do the remaining work.
Step 2: Flatten the Model With Pepakura
Now the reason for using Pepakura is that you can use this to flatten the 3d model. Now to do that you can also use cad software and in those, you can go with the sheet metal tab and do the rest of the work but Pepakura is much easier to proceed with and once you flatten the model it also shows you which part needs to connect with which side. Which is much more beneficial while assembling the pieces. It would be good to have some basic knowledge of Papakura. The software is extremely basic and you can easily grab the features in a few minutes. I am providing files for that so you can use it according to that.
Step 3: Cutting Down the Pieces
Now there are several ways to do this task and if you are a beginner then using a paper template would be the best idea but in my experience, I found that a paper template is ideal if the size of your pieces is small and you are easily able to fit them onto one A4 size paper, but for larger pieces cutting with laser is best and time-saving idea for these work. Since if you misaligned the paper template then that error will transfer onto the metal piece also and that leads to the problem while assembling the pieces.
Step 4: Marking the Pieces With the Angles
Once the laser cutting is done next process to do is bending the pieces, but before bending we need to know where we need to bend the piece and what the angle and whether the angle is positive or negative. So pepakura illustrate that with v or m. If the angle is pointed upwards then it's illustrated with M means mountain and if pointed downward then it's illustrated with V means valley. So I export the flat layout With angle in jpg format and once the pieces are cut out with the help of a marker in write down the angles onto the pieces.
Step 5: Bending
Bending is a crucial process in this artwork. Now for the bending you can either scour the line with the help of a grinder and made partial cuts and then make bends, but I have a rolla v die bender which I made a year ago for this particular work and indeed this is an extremely useful tool I ever built. So after making the bend on my homemade contraption, I measure it with the help of a protector to make sure whether I that bend is achieved or not and some time it overshoots, so to alter that I use a plastic mallet to strike a little on the ridge and hammer it on the opposite direction. Sometimes slight manual force is enough, but sometimes it needs a lot of power to the hammer always do the trick.
Step 6: Tack Welding the Pieces
It's always better to have drawings for these kinds of work but sometimes to save paper I just click the pictures from my computer and use them for the reference image. Now the assembling process is almost similar to the designing process. We need to start from the center and move outwards. During this process make sure not to do full welds. Because after full weld there is a heavy amount of heat distortion going to take place and that isn't good for these sculptures. So it's always better to do the tack weld first. In most of the cases, fusion tacks work well but sometimes it doesn't. So always make sure if you are using a filler rod then use just a tiny amount of it.
Once the front portion is tack welded I went to the back portion which is the flat bat logo. Now to save the material I divided it into two sections but you can keep them as one because I use the leftover of two different sheets. I made a lot of them but still, sometimes it confuses me a lot during the initial tack welding process. So in my construction process, I made this in two halves which seems a lot easier to me since attaching a flat sheet to the poly surface warp the sheet, and tack welding it to the flat lines first makes it rigid for the final joining process.
In this kind of art project, I always start with the centerpieces. I found this to be the easiest and faster since all of the pieces are mirrors of each other. So alignment of this is extremely crucial. So as I told above that once the pieces are about to close you need clamps but be careful while using clamps because there are chances that you may create dents into the surface which are hard to remove sometimes.
Step 7: Full Welding
Once the tack welding process is completed it's time for the full weld. Now while making stainless sculptures I always use aluminum bars as a heat sink but I don't use them in MS since it's a bit more forgiving. But if you want to use aluminium then it will definitely going to benefit you. After making a few of these sculptures I found that making full weld by using a filler rod is important. You can definitely use the fusion technique but I found that the penetration is a bit less compared to the filler weld technique. So this is the process you need to take care of.
Step 8: Cutout for the Electronic Components
Since this wall art is hollow that's why there is plenty of space to hide the power adapter and the sensor inside this sculpture but since it's made out of metal signal is going to be a bit weaker than the plastic one. So to get rid of this I made a hole with the hole saw so that signal can escape from the metal body and this tweak actually works well and I am able to control the light from 10ft always quite easily.
Step 9: Grinding the Welds and Prepare for Powder Coating
Once the major work is completed it's time to do the grinding. In my experience, if you are grinding on low poly sculptures then fiber disc is the best option for that. The major advantage is that it maintains the straightness of the bent lines and makes it pop really nicely. Although it's not feasible to use it in all places where it's possible for me I use this over a regular flap wheel. Once the major grinding work was completed I switch the tool to the finishing sander. Again the major advantage of using it is to maintain the flatness of the surface. I use 80grit on mild steel sculptures which really blends the deep scratches and makes the surface pop up really nice. After that, I sent it to the powder coating company since I can't afford to buy everything. So this part I leave onto the company and they really did wonderful job onto this.
Step 10: Installation of the Led Strip.
Installation of the led strip is straight forward and all I need is to drill two holes to route the wire. The one hole is done at the base for the mains wire and the second is done to enter the wire inside the sculpture to connect the strip to the electronic components. After that remove the double-sided tap and stick the lead to the periphery and solder the wire. At first, I was using esp8266 but I was getting a few issues with the program, so that's why I discard the plan and use a dedicated led controller to control the led and that controller comes with a 144 combination which is too good for me. And the final result is in front of you.
Step 11: Finally
Here are a few shots of the final product. I hope you guys liked it and if so then definitely let me know in the comments section down below.
This is an entry in the