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 25, 2011

Back up and try again...

I was delighted with the little frame of the truck when it came off the router. Detail was good, things looked pretty much as I imagined them. But when I looked at it again this morning when I came in and mocked it up with the large wheels it looked kinda dinky. It was too short. The width looked good however. So it was time to make some adjustments and give it one more go on the router.

I measured things up again by holding the wheels against the frame, opened the frame file in EnRoute and stretched it out four and a half inches. It still looked good! The cross members were a little thicker than what I originally designed but it didn't bother me one little bit. As you've probably figured out I tend to design as I go  - by the seat of my pants and at a full run. Tape measures are used as a last resort for I would rather design by eye, most of the time. It's always been my style. I probably make more mistakes than the average guy, but often the mistakes lead to some pretty cool discoveries. It keeps things exciting too. :)

I tool-pathed it the same as the first go. The rough pass was done in one pass with a 3/8" ballnose bit with a 50% overlap. Then I used a tapered 1/8" ballnose for the final pass, again all in one go, and with an 80% overlap. 

Both frames wer 5.25" wide. The first was 13" long while the second try made the frame 18.5" long.

Now we are ready to go for real...