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, January 17, 2012

Wavy banner

The ballon will be 'towing' a wavy banner that has our name on it. This is advertising after all.

I decided it would wave both vertically and horizontally for maximum effect. And a quick measure showed a 4 foot long banner was the right size. I created the basic vectors and lettering in Illustrator and then imported these to EnRoute.

The next step is to size everything (as one unit). Then I added a border around the letters using the outline tool.

I created a flat relief and then imported a bitmap called Splotches from my TEXTURE MAGIC collection. I selected the banner and the bitmap to light up the button shaped like a mountain and sky. I put in a value of 0.15 to create a subtle texture over the entire surface.

Then I selected the banner and the lettering outline to raise this area slightly from the background. If I had wanted this area to not have texture I would have built a separate relief and merged them later.

Last up was the slightly domed lettering which was raised 0.15 off the outline to make it easy to paint later.

The new MultiCam took care of the routing in a hurry. Then it was time to do a little bending. I had bought a heating blanket some months previous. It is controllable and will heat to 400 degrees. I put it under the banner with it raised off the table and let the heat soak in good. A full bucket of paint and block of Precision Board provided the weight I needed to provide the bending force.

When I was happy I turned off the heater and let things cool. The result was a banner that looks like it is flapping in the wind.

I mocked it up behind the balloon to check it out.  And it looked pretty cool. Now it is on to paint.

Stay tuned for more progress...