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, July 30, 2010

Let there be (a) light!

I was very clear about what I wanted as I built the desk and robotic arm lamps. How we would get there was a little fuzzier. The electrical cable had to feed through the assembly and it had to fit around the structure I would weld. First came the structure of 1.5" square tubing. The angles were cut by eye and I tacked it up as I went. The arms had to be removable so we could get it all in the door. This job would use up plenty of scraps for there were lots of small pieces.
I decided to laminate it up using 1" 30 lb Precision Board. I had plenty on hand and it would minimize the labor in removing the material for the structure. I designed the files in EnRoute as simple cut files. The medallions were routed as 3D files and took a little longer to route than the others. Each arm assembly would be made up of 36 pieces which were still being cut on the MultiCam as I started in on the project.
I started on the bottom, tracing the structural steel and then cutting out the material necessary. Then I glued and screwed the pieces around the tubing. The center (squarish) portions of the arms are four layers thick. The round medallions with the 'M's are six layers deep. I still have to fabricate the hydraulic cylinders and add all the piping and wiring along with a bunch of rivets on the bottom portion of the desk. Then I'll get to the front and sides as well.

The desk is coming along nicely and should be a show stopper when we are done.
Stay tuned...