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, February 18, 2011

Another name plaque

Shawn and her husband Mark are coming to our workshop from Hawaii where they have recently moved. I thought a tropical style would be appropriate for them. I decided on two different palm fronds. Shawn's is fan shaped.  The leaves look a lot like feathers. I did one and then copied it and rotated them appropriately. Each leaf was bisected with a line vertically and then using the jigsaw tool I created a separate vector for each side. The stems were created separately.

Once I had done the vector work I positioned everything back together again. and created an outline to act as the base.

This base was the first relief I made as a flat shape. Then I drew an oval around the leaf and used it to modify the base to a dome shape.

The outline of the letter was also created as a flat relief and then modified to the same dome shape.

Then I used the dome tool to also create the two sides of the leaves and then modified them with the oval to mimic the same shape as the previous elements. Everything was then nudged to the right height in the front view. The border on the letters was also created in this same manner.

The stems were created with the dome shape as well and modified in the same fashion. If you look close you can see I missed selecting the stem on the second leaf from the left. I didn't catch it until the piece was routed... and so I'll add it in by hand later. Once everything was right I merged everything together to form the final file.

I was happy with the piece but as it routed I was ready to try some new things I had just thought of. Marks piece would stretch me a little more.