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Deer Caught in the Spotlight

(June 2014) posted on Tue Jun 24, 2014

A faux trophy head is designed to stand out among a restaurant’s current décor.

click an image below to view slideshow

Our goal was to produce a finished piece that could be easily put together with no adhesives and a minimum of tools – because the interior signage at any given store could be installed from anyone from Red Robin staff to installers who were executing more complex work. We decided on a set of matching slots, so joining pieces could slide together and stay in place permanently. To anchor the neck pieces into the base, we would include a set of slots and pieces that “locked” in place, allowing the whole thing to be assembled without tools. The only additional hardware needed: a bracket and a few screws to mount it to the wall.

Testing the Geometry

Having decided upon material and method, we then had to figure out the exact shapes to cut so that everything would nest together correctly. Upon its assembly, we wanted the edges of all the pieces to be flush with each other, and we had to ensure the tabs on the deer’s neck would fit through the spaces that were cut in the base for them.

Because we would use a round router bit on our Zünd G3 to cut the pieces – we couldn’t create a 90-degree “inside” corner – the cut paths had to be offset to account for the rounded ends of the slots. We had to consider the width of the 6mm and 13mm Sintra being used for various pieces, as well as the radius of the router bit. We then created multiple test pieces to ensure we had everything just right before moving on to the real thing.

3D Modeling for the Real World

Once we had finalized just how the printed deer heads would be constructed, it was time to go back to our conceptual models and adjust them to work in the real world. We executed the initial design using McNeel’s Rhino 5 3D modeling software, disassembling the model into its individual components. In addition, we added in the slots and tabs at this stage to make it all fit together.