Golden Era Productions, Gilman Hot Springs, CA, produces religious film, video, television, and events. These productions require considerable numbers of sets and props which must be produced to high levels of detail and accuracy, primarily from foam and wood.
In the past Golden Era used a 2.5D router with 9 inches of Z-axis travel which limited the depth and complexity of the parts that could be created.
Golden Era upgraded to Delcam’s PowerMILL 5-axis computer numerical control CNC programming software and a 5-axis CNC router from DMS. The new software and router make it possible to produce pieces as big as 10 feet by 5 feet by 48 inches in a single setup including complex, highly detailed 3D surfaces.
“With PowerMILL we are able to make things that in the past we would have had to carve by hand or in a multitude of laborious steps, which added days to an otherwise simple program that now takes only hours with PowerMILL,” said Ron Sommerville, Sets Chief for Golden Era Productions.
“This capability has helped our creative process take a huge leap forward. Now the challenge is to see how creative we can be, as the software can literally do anything we can imagine, and with speed and quality.” As an added bonus, complex tool paths are made user-friendly and simple to do, which makes programming a breeze.”
The focal point of Golden Era Productions is the 80,000-square-foot film studio. The main sound stage rises more than three stories, with an interior the size of two football fields. Final production of the religious audiovisual properties filmed at Golden Era Productions is accomplished in the cutting-edge post-production facilities, which include 21 digital editing bays that are used to create any required digital effects.
Golden Era’s special effects department harnesses more than 500 computers. Religious film and video musical scores are produced and mixed in-house in Golden Era’s recording studios.
Golden Era Productions has a continual need for sets and props for its films and events. For example, the organization recently produced a film shot in the studio of an artist who is working on a partially finished sculpture. The artist also has a number of finished sculptures in the studio.
The partially finished sculpture could not be produced on the previous 2.5D router because the router was limited to contouring a single workplane to a depth of 9 inches. Hand carving would have taken a considerable amount of time and would not have provided the desired level of detail and accuracy. Golden Era could have subcontracted the job to a local machining operation but this would have been expensive and involved significant delays.