We are obsessed with Star Wars in our house, and are eagerly awaiting the Last Jedi release. We have likely watched the trailer a combined run time equal to the film itself and our Little is absolutely in love with the new Porg creatures, they are already looking to be this generations Ewok. Our shared adoration of these tiny galactic penguin things ultimately led us to the idea of the "Porggy" Bank - it sounds like "piggy", its cute, and it is nearly the holiday gift season... also, we just invested in a Shapeoko CNC system from Carbide 3D and needed to stretch our design chops.
Our first challenge was in creating a design that met our needs and wants. Since we only had the included 1/4" bit at this point, the design needed to be simple enough for the ability of the machine, yet detailed enough to convey the character. There were also features our Little requested, such as, the ability to feed the money through the mouth of the Porg and as all littles are obsessed with everything gross - could it please "poop the money out when you want it." Sure, kid. Challenge accepted.
After some rough sketches it was time to make an SVG to take to the CNC - I am a native to Adobe Illustrator so that is my comfort zone. I did not find a whole lot of resources for creating CNC files with AI, so I was a little on my own. To assist with visually organizing I came up with a simple system of using a grayscale fill to mark the final depth of shapes. This trick was helpful later when it was time to pass off the file to D for the actual cut. The printed AI worked as a depth chart. Bonus!
Note: Attached dust collection with your CNC is HIGHLY recommended!
After 30 minutes, and very sore arms from chasing the hogged out material with our shop-vac, we had all the pieces cut and ready for some initial sanding before glue up. You can see here, the side by side of the printed AI file with depth notes and the final face piece.
Below you can see the glued and assembled Porggy Bank, front and back. Next we needed some more sanding.
And more sanding.
And yes, more sanding.
Then the fun part, for K, it was time to paint!
After a little research and testing we used DecoArt Americana Acrylic with their spray Gloss Sealer. Once that was dry, we tackled the final piece of the design, the clear acrylic tummy window. You can certainly find sheets of acrylic online, however a lucky dive in the scrap bin at the local plastic fabricator yielded us enough to try cutting it ourselves with the Shapeoko for pennies - which we saved to feed the Porggy!
Design TIP: Make your acrylic inserts slightly smaller than the lip they fit into - save yourself some sanding work.
We are pretty pleased with how this project turned out, and our Little is over the moon in love with her new Porggy Bank. Sometimes inspiration strikes and you think "Surely someone has thought of this, this has to exist out there..." but we couldn't find one. Not anything like it. So, as we do in our house, we challenged ourselves and MADE it.
As you can see here, we are making more too. Because once word of such a unique gift gets out... then you need one for the nieces, and nephews, and friends. And luckily with a CNC duplicates are much easier! Hmmm, can you put a sanding bit on a CNC??
Who on your gift list would go nuts for one of these little guys?