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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Can't have ordinary here

We had a meeting with the contractor for our new house today. There are many details to iron out before the actual work can begin. Today's meeting was about where we were going to relocate the gas lines in preparation for the new building. After we had wrapped our discussion I told Harold there was one item we needed to discuss. With a serious look on my face I told him no temporary coroplast signs would be allowed on the job site. (I knew that is what he used). He nodded. And then I took him to the router room and showed him the sign I was making for him. The multiCam was on the final passes as we looked. Harold broke into a HUGE grin and promised me his old signs were going in the dumpster.

I started with a logo I borrowed off his website. Since I had no vector art I would be working from scratch.

It only took a few minutes to locate the font I needed and then build the stylized 'H'. I decided I would add a square around the 'H' to allow me to add more depth to that element.

I used a woodgrain bitmap from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection to create the vertical woodgrain.

Then I built the lettering as separate reliefs. I would use the up/down arrows to nudge them into position in the front view.

Then I merged highest to make them part of the base relief. 

Next up was the plain rectangle. This too was built as a separate flat relief and then merged by using the REPLACE command. I could also have used the MERGE LOWEST to get the same effect.

Then I Modified the relief by adding the stylized 'H'. The 'LTD.' was the last command by subtracting from the relief.

As quick as that it was ready to tool path and send off to the MultiCam.

I let the file run who I did other things in the shop. The sign measures 42" wide. I also cut a backing piece and a center section with cutouts to allow for a steel frame to be laminated into the middle.  I'll be showing how that goes together in the next day or two.

It was well worth the effort when I saw the look on Harold's face. After the job is done he'll get to take the sign home with him.