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, April 2, 2010


Not every project we do is complex nor hard. EnRoute is the perfect software for even the simpler projects too. We are entering a large hot rod show in a few weeks and I needed a few signs to appeal to this specialized crowd. I didn't have to go far for inspiration. Just to my tool box. I grabbed an open end wrench and used it as a model. The vector file only took minutes to produce using the drawing tools.
Once I had the vectors I created the reliefs - all separate until I was satisfied. I first flipped a copy of the files but not the lettering so I could route two back to back files. Here's the screen capture of the piece just before I tool-pathed it. The finished piece would be four feet long so I decided to only use a 3/8" ball nose bit and cut it in one pass using a 90% overlap.
I sent it to our MultiCam cutting at 300" per minute from a 1.5" thick piece of 30 lb Precision Board. It took a little more than an hour on the router - while I was busy with other things. Once it was done I glued up the two halves and left it in the clamps overnight.

Stay tuned...