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

The world is NOT flat!

While the whole sign world around me works hard to make everything perfectly flat and smooth we take a radically different approach. I LOVE TEXTURE! This sign was so massive it begged to look like it was hewn from a solid timber. Using a die grinder it was easy and quick to make the piece look like I'd used an old fashioned adze to cut it to shape. I extended this treatment to the sides, rear and borders on the sign. In less than an hour the effect was magic!
Using the same tool I carved the mountains into the cutout shapes I had created in EnRoute and cut with the router. I used rough broad strokes for the mountain rocks and glaciers and short vertical strokes for the closer trees. It didn't take long to prepare the sign for the next step.

We used a Sculpting Epoxy to form the missing shapes of the mountains, form the tree line and add in the rows of crops. It is like the plasticine we used as kids - only this stuff gets rock hard in about 3 hours. It's MAGIC!

At this point we were ready for primer... stay tuned...