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

Monday, May 31, 2010

A little more traditional.

We've worked very hard for many years to establish a reputation as a sign shop that did anything but 'ordinary' signs. But that doesn't mean we can do traditional designs - with a twist to take them over the top of course.
Our latest project is a sign for a naturopathic doctor. He asked us to design a sign that reflected the heritage of the old farmhouse that housed his clinic. It was well over a hundred years old, but now in the center of town. We came up with a sign that respected this heritage and also the occupation of the doctor. The sign will sport the same green color as the house. Everything that is yellow in the design will be 23K gold leaf of course. The base of the sign will be covered in river rock as a symbol of his natural approach to medicine
The sign design was created in EnRoute using the vector logo the doctor had provided. The curly-cues are from the Butler Gold collection.
I used a variety of techniques to create the 3D routing file. The lettering is beveled as are the culy-cues. Other elements are domed. I also added a subtle dome under the logo to make it pop off the sign. The woodgrain texture was created from a sandblasted woodgrain bitmap from my collection. The file is being routed from a 1.5" thick sheet of 30 lb Precision Board as I type. The picture below shows the rough cut about 3/4 of the way through.
I never get tired of watching the MultiCam whittle the shapes from the flat sheet. I know the files are complex mathematical formulas - code generated inside EnRoute. While I could never hope to understand how it works, I do know having this amazing program allows me to dream up ideas, and then in mere minutes create files that takes hours to run. I love watching the result... watching the machine move as if by MAGIC... and before my eyes the project I had just imagined comes to life.
Stay tuned as the pieces of this project come together...