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, March 6, 2012

About time!

Just over six years ago, just after we got our first MultiCam router I designed and cut a clock surround for our shop clock. We had purchased a clock - just for that purpose. I asked my helper to NOT take the clock apart as I feared it might get broken in the prices. But he did and as I feared the clock never did run after that. But we finished the clock surround and hung the clock. It was my plan to either fix the clock when I got time or find another the same size and replace it. Time has stood still ever since. :)

Lately it has been bugging me- more than usual. With the workshop starting this week it was high time to actually get on with the program. A new clock was secured and I set about making a new surround at last.

The vectors were easy, but like with almost every project I tackle it was time to learn something new. The make multiple copies function in EnRoute is one I've used many times but I've never used the function that makes the copies follow a circle. I've seen it demonstrated at workshops so I knew the software was capable of it. It took a little head scratching and a little noodling around but once I figured it out the task was easy! One more trick for the toolbox!  As I type this now I see there is an offset function as well. That's cool for it would have allowed me to skip the resize as the next step.

Then it was time to start in with the reliefs. The first was a flat basic relief for the clock.

The raised rings were created by modifying the base relief. The domed circles were built as new reliefs and then nudged to the appropriate height

Then I merged (highest) the domed circles to the base relief.

For the textures in the background I wanted something a little different. Because I do both digital and hand done work I decided to include a geometric computer generated looking thing, It is part of the TEXTURE MAGIC collection.

A second texture (SPLOTCHES) was done over the first to add a little texture.

The lettering were done as separate reliefs and then merges (Highest) with the base relief. The happy face at the top was also done as a separate relief and then combined with the clock surround.

 A second ring was also cut from 1.5" Precision Board and glued onto the back. The clock just dropped in from the rear, making it unnecessary to disassemble the clock before it is fastened into the back. I'll make sure my instructions are VERY clear this time or else I will simply do it myself. But once the paint is done we will have a working clock in the shop at last!