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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beautiful body

Our EnRoute Software and the MultiCam router are powerful tools which I use extensively in our work. They make things easier and speed it up considerably. And while I would never want to give them up I also like to do some things by hand. Sculpting the body of the truck is a good example of how we combine modern tools with old world skills. And while I use Precision Board for the bulk of this project, a thin layer of Magic Sculpt give me the easiest way to finish this job. It shows the best of all worlds. The truck came off the router and required a little hand work with the die grinder to get it into the rough shape I needed. Hand work was limited to about 30 minutes after gluing the pieces right off the MultiCam.

Then it was time for some old fashioned hand sculpting. I use Abracadabra Sculpt in our shop. It dries rock hard in about three hours. It is the perfect medium for my slightly bent, cartoon style of work which is difficult to mimic with a machine alone.

I worked on the cab from the top down, then worked around the front of the truck and did the box (the easiest part) last. I did it this way because it was easiest to hold still there without fear of damaging the freshly sculpted parts. For the seam lines like the doors and hood I used a sharpened, wooden stir stick.

The truck is definitely hand sculpted and looks like it has been well used through the years. The paint job will feature lots of weathering and dirt to enhance this look to the max. The end result is a truck with a lot of character.

Tomorrow I begin the final paint and assembly at long last.