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, October 11, 2011

The magic of mud!

One of the many things we teach at our workshops is how we mix our special formulas of fiberglass reinforced concrete. It is designed and proven to trowel on easily and be super strong. It also carves easily - or at least much easier than regular concrete. Each student is allowed to try their hand at this task.

Then the fun begins. We start with the easy task... troweling concrete on a flat board. All did well at this task and their confidence grew immediately. These concrete covered boards were carved (when they had cured enough) to practicethe various styles and techniques.

Then it was time for a more advanced challenge. The students worked in teams of two, first welding up a sturdy armature, then applying the glavanized wire using specialized tools. 

The concrete coating was the next step. I did a quick demonstration to show how it was done... and then the real fun began.

The vertical areas were easy. As our students worked downward it quickly became evident that it would take more than a little practice to master this part of the job. For a first time effort they did remarkably well.
The upside down parts proved to be a little trickier.
The concrete was allowed to cure until it was perfect to carve. We'll show the delightful result and a lot more creativity in the next post.
-grampa dan