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 16, 2012

Creating the Lark Rise sign files

 The Lark Rise sign was next up on the agenda. I created the lettering vectors in Illustrator and then imported them to EnRoute where I created the rest of the vectors for the design.

The sign face was fairly simple, with the inside to be routed out. The flags along the top were raised and bevelled.

I put some wood grain in the background using a sandblasted redwood bitmap from my TEXTURE MAGIC collection. 

The lettering outline was built as a separate flat relief, moved into position vertically and then merged highest with the background.

The lettering was prismatic lettering created with the bevel tool and a 0.15 base. The triangle on the bottom of the sign was also rested with the bevel tool as a separate relief before being merged highest with the background.

The sign will be cut in three layers, the top face being routed from 1.5" thick 30 lb Precison Board. The middle and back layers will be cut from 1" 30lb Precision Board. I will weld up a steel frame to glue into the center to provide strength. Since I'm using 1"x1" square tubing I created  1.1" cuts through the center piece to make room for the steel. The glue will fill in any gaps.

The two cutting files for the middle and back looked like this when I was done. These will be shaped using an offset cut.

Stay tuned as the sign comes together...