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, February 21, 2011

Dimensional emblem

I've always loved the car emblems from the fifties. Swoopy and sleek they beautifully portray speed and grace. Spencer's name plate would emulate that classic look. The tricky part would be to cut out part of the fancy swish under the name without distorting the shape.

First up I created a beveled relief. I used the create relief bevel tool but limited the height to .2" over the base height parameter. This makes an instant bevel at any angle you specify.

Then I imported my wiggly line bitmap and stretched it out enough that my 1/8" ballnose but could easily cut between the lines. Black would do nothing but white would raise up to where I specified. This bitmap was applied over a domed relief.

Then I created a bevelled relief with the triangle vector shape.   This relief was modified using an oval vector to match the textured oval and nudged into position vertically.

I also created a zero height relief using an offset of the letter 'p'. This was merged with the triangle using the merge LOWEST function to notch the triangle shape perfectly around the lettering.

Lastly I create the lettering using a dome shape and modified it using the same dome vector, then nudged it into position vertically in the front view.

In only a few minuted another name plaque was ready to send to the MultiCam.

It was routed in two passed, the first being a 50% overlap with a 3/8" ball nose bit. 

The final pass was with a tapered 1/8" ball nose bit using an 80% overlap.