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

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What's in a name?

For each Sign Magic Workshop we design, route and paint up name plates for each guest that attends. Our ninth workshop is scheduled for next week and we're busy with the current batch. There have been about a hundred and twenty-five name plates to date. The hard part is to do a new design for each person. It is a lot like making signs for our customers.

The name plates serve a variety of purposes. They are of course a nice way to welcome our guests to our studio. They are a lasting reminder of a visit here for each participant gets to take them home. Designing the name plates puts each guest firmly in my mind - a great way to remember everyone's name. 

The name plates are also a great way to show just what can be done with a router and are a handy teaching aid. Coming up with original designs each time keeps my creative mind exercised and sharp. I would challenge anyone to come up with 10-15 name plates in a hurry - all different and dimensional. Designing the name plates in Enroute certainly hones my skills within the program. The name plates are also a great way for us to experiment with color combinations and painting techniques. Many of the texture bitmaps on my DVD collection were designed for just this purpose as well.

Normally I begin work on the projects for the workshops many weeks in advance. With our large projects on the go and our long hours there things got left a little later than usual. For the last days the MultiCam has been buzzing and I've been busy at the design computer. There's still one or two days of work before we are down to the painting.

The project panels are all designed, routed and ready to go. As always, we will have a few new things this go around, building on our experience in the past. We are counting the days until the next Sign Magic Workshop!