One of our attendees to our Sign Magic Workshop is just finishing her Arts Masters degree at University. Robin seems to enjoy a playful but very thoughtful approach to her art. As I thought about a name plaque for her the image of a brain came to mind. I would wrap her name over this image - just for fun.
I did a quick sketch in my book to make sure the idea flew and I was happy with only a quick partial drawing. I already had created a bitmap in my collection which would provide the texture I needed. Then I created the vector drawing which I would need to make the reliefs in EnRoute. The design would be both formal and playful at the same time.
The relief for the 'brain' was a simple oval. This was made into a domed relief. The two halves of the brain were then added to this relief by O.15". The outline around the lettering was created as a flat relief .7" high - an arbitrary number. I then selected an oval the same size as the brain relief as well as the letter outline and created a domed relief of the lettering. Going to the side view I bumped it up until the letter outline protruded over the brain relief a suitable amount. The texture bitmap was added to the brain to a depth of 0.15"and everything checked with a render before proceeding.
The background oval was created with a chamfered edge by limiting the height of the relief which was done with the create bevel relief. Lastly I added the domed lettering to the lettering outline. Once I had adjusted everything to fit inside my 1.5" thick material I them merged the elements together to form one relief.
I used my favorite tool bits to cut the piece... a rough pass with a 3/8" ball nose bit at a 50% overlap to start. The rough pass took less than 10 minutes.
The final pass was done with a 1/8" ball nose tapered bit with a 80% overlap. I was running the files with an island fill - perfect for this shape piece. I ran the files on our MultiCam 3000 series router at 300 inches per minute. The final pass took just under an hour for this 12" x 14" panel.
While the file was running on the MultiCam I was busy at my desk creating the file for the next panel...