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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Using bitmaps to shape panels

I probably use bitmaps more than most folks who use EnRoute, but they can be used for so many cool effects. This name plaque is another good example. I started with some squiggly lines, sized them so the 1/8" bit would fit comfortably then created my vectors based on this size so no squares were cut. I created a relief and added the squiggly line checkerboard pattern. 

Then I imported the next bitmap. a dark to light to dark fade which I had created in PhotoShop. this creates a pleasing wave when applied to a relief.

I had created a border around John's name which I created as a flat relief, then applied this same wave bitmap. This ensured the two files would match.

I built a panel/border then merged everything. Then I used the dome tool to add the lettering vectors.

The panel was then tool pathed and sent to the MultiCam to be routed from 30 lb Precision Board.

Another panel was ready for the paint shop...