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, May 14, 2010

Small piecess in a large puzzle

As I revisited the project we had done pre-router days it made me appreciate just how much easier things are these days with our high tech tools. The project I put the finishing touches to wasn't largely done with the modern ways, but they did play an important part and made the project both faster and easier as well as better.
The project was the entrance/ticket booth for a bumper car attraction. It was part of an adventure golf (double course) we had done six years previously. This would feature the same theme (1920's & 30's) as the rest of the entertainment facility. I designed an old time gas station as the primary feature. The car would be interactive and act as a photo opportunity. The gas station would be the ticket booth.
The plans were pretty basic, drawn mostly to help the customer understand how it would all go together. To keep the project within budget he would fabricate the building after we had delivered the pieces. I would return when he was finished to do the faux rock work around the bottom of the building.
The signs, pump toppers, gauges and logos would all be designed using EnRoute and then routed out of 30 lb Precision Board. The car, pumps and post would be sculpted by hand using epoxy over a welded steel frame. This would be the fastest and best way to do the project.
While the MultiCam did the routing I set to work on the welding of the framework, test driving it every once in a while to make sure it was right.. This was a cartoon world where 'conventional' methods simply don't work that well.

Once the framework was done, some expanded lath was carefully 'tied' on and two layers of sculpting epoxy was sculpted into place forming the skin of the car body. The routed pieces would be sculpted into the antique gas pumps.
It all came together fairly quickly. The routed pieces were designed in my 'famous' wiggly style to fit in with what I did by hand. Stay tuned for the progress...