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, January 17, 2011

Sonbuilt 3D logo build part 4

I put the file on the MultiCam this morning. I wanted to route it from 3" Precision Board in one piece since I didn't want to deal with glue seams through the sunburst rays. The only piece I had in stock was 40 lb board and the sheet weighed in at a hefty 320 lbs in total. I like to think I'm tough, but I'm really not. It was far too heavy for me to lift by myself and finally, after all these years, I'm smart enough to know it. I had no one else scheduled to come in and my neighbor wasn't home. After some head scratching I got out the sawzall and cut a 3' piece off the sheet. It still clocked in at over a hundred pounds but I managed to wrestle it into the router room and onto the table.

Because of the depth I decided to do the rough cuts in three passes - probably overkill but I didn't break the bit either. :)  For the finish pass I used a tapered 1/8" ballnose bit. I could have lied to the machine and told it the bit was longer to accomplish the cut in one pass but it was easier and quicker to start the first pass, then stop the machine and do a proximity restart at the edge of the first pass and go almost straight to the final pass. That is why the edge of the final cut is done while the router is still working from the center. I'll stop the router as soon as we get to that point.

Tomorrow I'll start in on the other pieces of this jigsaw puzzle and it should start looking more like the logo we want to emulate shortly.