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 22, 2011

Tropical delight

Shawn (Mark's wife) is also soon to be from Hawaii and I decided on a palm frond for her name as well. I knew she is a fan of Disney and so I made her letter style extra playful. I constructed the elements as vectors bisected the leaves with a line and then used the jigsaw puzzle tool to create the two halves. The stems matched the middle sections.

I then lined everything up in preparation of the creation of the reliefs.

First up was the background plate as a flat relief.

This was modified using an oval vector. The lettering was created as a separate relief and also modified with the dome tool using the oval.

Then I selected the background plate and created the leaves using the dome tool. The letter borders were nudged into position and everything was merged (highest) together.

The stems of the leaf were created as a separate relief and then modified using the dome tool and the oval relief. If you look close I missed one of the stems (second from the right) I didn't catch it until after the panel was routed. but I can easily add it by hand with some sculpting epoxy.As a last step, and using the dome tool I added the lettering. 

The file was then tool pathed using EnRoute and sent to the router.