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, February 8, 2011

Black forest vectors

It's been a crazy week with everything that has been going on around here lately but I finally found time to do a little vector work for the Black Forest sign. The first thing I did was create the vectors for the type. I did this work in Illustrator as I am just more comfortable doing it there based on my previous experience. It could have been done in EnRoute however. I imported these files into EnRoute.

Then I started with the box shape for the bottom and the oval where the knight will sit. I whipped out these shapes by eye and in a hurry. The two outermost rings will form the cornice molding on top The two horizontal rectangles will also form part of the cornice. I duplicated the rings and horizontal lines to form each shape, leaving a copy in place to register the new shapes we will create.

Then using the jigsaw puzzle tool I simply clicked in each overlapping section , deleted the original vectors and merged them to form one shape.

These were then brought back into positing over the original vectors and nudged into position. Once I was happy with their placement I deleted the original lines. I created a few more lines and shapes which I will explain as I create the reliefs in the next segment.  In the meantime study them closely to see if you can figure out how I'm going to use the add to and subtract from tools as well as the merge highest and lowest to create this seemingly complex routing file.

The reality is it is not that difficult... just a series of simple steps in a logical order. It's going to be fun and shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes to finish before applying the tool paths.

Stay tuned...