More “Pixel Machining” AKA Halftoning Experiments

I first featured an older version of my “Halftoning” or “Pixel-Machining” routine here, then made a pretty successful stencil using this technique.  Lately I’ve been doing some experimentation with varying the diameter of the circle and engraving tiles with it.  See the following video for a time-lapse of me machining a tiger head with a 1 mm endmill.

Besides this tile, I’ve also experimented with some scrap MDF, and have engraved several other tiles after the “Read More.”  Several have been pictures of Err from ATHF, although I did try to do a human portrait with it originally.  This turned out very poorly (I don’t have a picture of it).  Fortunately, I’ve worked out some of the major kinks in the program since then.

In the original MDF, I used my standard 1/8 inch mill, but with the tiles I switched to a 1 mm end mill that I got from Zen Toolworks.  Something this tiny has to be handled with care.  After cutting a few tiles, I probably cut too aggressively at 15 inches per minute feed, and .020 inch depth which snapped the little bit off.  Fortunately, I had another 1 mm bit meant for PCB use, which seemed to work fine.  Here’s Zen Toolworks’ bit selection, who’s supported this site with much of my CNC equipment.

The process I’m using plunges the mill down into the tile, then makes a circle corresponding to how dark the image is at that pixel.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll probably try using a drill bit and instead varying the depth based on this value.  It should produce a varied diameter hole in a shorter time since all it would have to do is plunge into the workpiece.

As to who’s portrait I used, it was my cousin, and featured Whamola and Hank Drum musician, Jackson.  I had several pictures available on this site, and with his beard and dark hair, I thought he would be a good test.  He assured me that this wasn’t weird at all.  As for the Hammer and Sickle, no I’m not a Pinko Commie, but it’s a pretty very recognizable emblem.  As I suspected is not trademarked.  Not that this hasn’t been attempted.

If you want one of these items, why not sign up for my mailing list per this post for a chance to win some of my “art.”  Or check out this Err Mosaic that you can make yourself since I no longer have it.

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