For the first while after we installed our MultiCam router I was still very much in discovery mode. I was learning the ins and outs of EnRoute trying to figure out just what was possible with this amazing software. I remember one day I was flipping through an old issue of National Geographic and came across a picture of a fish fossil. The photo was pretty cool and it inspired a great idea that simply couldn't wait to be done. I scanned the picture from the magazine into my computer and opened it in Photoshop. I then made it into a black and white image and then set about tweaking and adjusting things to what I knew would work on the router. I bumped up the contrast a bunch, eliminated much of the conflicting background and added in some missing bones. It didn't take long - about ten minutes in total. I then saved it as a bitmap.
I then created a second bitmap using a large speckled brush. It took literally seconds. I called this one spilled Coke. Then in Illustrator I created the vectors I needed to create the medallion panel shape and raised lettering. These were all imported into EnRoute and a relief was created with a slight dome. I then sized and applied the bitmaps one at a time. It only took seconds and involved a few clicks of the mouse. I tool-pathed the shapes, with a rough pass using a 3'8" ball nose bit and a final pass using a 1/8" ball nose but and a 80% overlap. I threw a 1" piece of Precision Board on the MultiCam and set the machine in motion.
In less than an hour the file was done. I had been busy doing other things, except when I simply couldn't resist sneaking into the router room to check on the MAGIC that was happening there. I whipped on a coat of grey acrylic paint and set the piece under our shop fan while I mixed up a dark glaze. The panel was dry enough to then cover it with the glaze and wipe it off with a shop towel. Just like that the panel was done.
In about an hour and a half we had gone from idea to finished product. Previously it would have taken days to accomplish anything similar.
I was suddenly stoked about the wonderful things that were now possible. There were no limits. The MAGIC had begun...