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

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sonbuilt 3D logo build part 5

Often in our line of work we get to wear a number of hats. This project is no exception. Designer, sculptor, programmer, engineer, plumber, electrician, painter, and probably a few more. But that is what keeps this job so interesting!  

Once the file came off the CNC router it was time to use some old fashioned tools. I trimmed the background piece down to size with the table saw, then cranked the blade over to forty-five degrees and cut the back sides at an angle. A sawzall whacked out the hole for the pump and trimmed the bottom corners away to make room for the wiring. Then I drilled a hole through the middle and a groove in the back to accommodate the low voltage LED wiring. 

Then it was time to play plumber. I had a whack of PVC pipe and fittings left over from previous projects, so I didn't have to go to the store for that. A ball valve was first to regulate and throttle down the water flow as necessary. Then I used angle fittings to drop the pipes down and around to where the water would come out. I flattened the pipes by heating them up a little before shaping them. 

A bit of sculpting epoxy fastened the LED lights in place and made it easy to angle them slightly towards the background. Then I cut an opening in a piece of 30 lb Precision Board to form the top of the display. The hole in the center will be the 'lake into which the water falls. The submersible pump will be under the water.

Now the hard part is done and the fun stuff begins.

To check how it will appear when the logo sits in the finished cabinet I cut a hole in a piece of MDF which I'll prop up in from when I need to.

It's coming along nicely and tomorrow we should get a good start on the scenery.