Making an AT-ST Stencil with a CNC machine

First of all I have no association with Lucasfilm or Star Wars.  This painting would, I believe, constitute fair use since it is somewhat of a parody and shouldn’t affect the market for the copyrighted work.  The video below shows the machining of an AT-ST acrylic stencil and the resulting spray painted canvas.

The path for this AT-ST walker stencil was generated using Inkscape using a process (explained here) similar to how I have generated logos for several hard drive platter clocks.  While for the logos outlines were engraved, for the AT-ST outlines were treated as the point where black ended and white began.  In other words, the outlines would still be “engraved”, but this was done deep enough to cut out the stencil.

Somewhat as a side effect, I took the dark areas that Inkscape generated and exported them as a bitmap file.  This was then made into a rather silly animation of a “cloaked AT-ST” which I talk about in this post.

Star Wars AT-ST walker stencil paintingAs seen in the video, the acrylic (generously provided by Inventables) takes a looong time to cut – around 1:45 for this item.  Acrylic will hold up for a long long time, so if I ever needed to make, say, 10,000 of these prints I suppose I could.  For something that will probably be the only one though, I think PVC would have been a better material choice as I used with some of my bleach shirts and the machining didn’t seem quite as difficult.  Another option would have been .005″ Duralar (as I used with my first bleach shirt).  This would have only taken 1 pass to cut out.  Results were good for my first shirt, so if you’re only making one or a few, Duralar is a great option.

The whole idea for doing this stencil was inspired by a Marc Cody painting that I saw which was sort of similar, but with an AT-AT walker.  His was much better and actually cut out by hand, so I definitely respect his talent for this kind of thing.  I can’t endorse all of his art, but the walker was absolutely incredible for even a casual Star Wars fan.  Also, he made some crazy skateboard bass guitar thing too, so that’s probably something cool to check out.  Maybe it will become popular with Skate Punk musical ensembles (not that I know anything about that genre).

From Amazon: Clear Duralar .005 25 Sheet Pad 9×12

For another piece of “art” that I’ve produced using spray paint and canvas, check out this Aqua Teen Hunger Force Err Mosaic that I did after somehow being inspired last year.


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