It is hard to believe that it was only seven years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research I quickly found out that with the relative simplicity of EnRoute, CNC routers were capable of just about anything imaginable. This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as we continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful software... -dan

Friday, March 19, 2010

Project just finished!

I get most excited about the projects underway in our shop. Today we installed the latest and it's a cool one. In the next few posts I'll show how we went about using EnRoute, our multiCam router and a few other tools to pull it off.

It all started with a concept of course. Once I had the idea firmly in my head I created a vector drawing in Illustrator and then imported it into EnRoute. The vector file looked looked this...
Then, step by step I built up the shapes and added my bitmap textures. Pockets were created for the letters which were built separately. The diamond shapes were done the same way. The file was fit into a 1.5" 4'x 8' sheet of 30 lb. Precision Board HDU. Then five more layers of 1" thick HDU were built as cutouts which would be laminated to the back of the sign. Cutouts were machined into the middle sections to allow a 3" x 3" welded steel frame to fit inside with two legs protruding out the bottom for support. Running the detailed files took 23 hours of router time. I did other things including sleep. CNC routers are marvelous tools!

Stay tuned for the next steps on this project...