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, April 10, 2012

First a secure foundation

Every project we create first involves creating a secure and strong structure. As we design the new fancy house and all the routed prices we will fasten to it our thoughts must first turn to the underlying structure that will hold everything up. As always, we did our research to make it the very best possible.

Nine years ago when we built our shop we discovered (and used) a relatively new building system called ICF. ICF stands for insulated concrete forms. These forms are made from styrofoam and look a lot like giant LEGO blocks. They are stacked up and as we build engineered rebar is laid inside. Once everything is plumb and square and braced properly a high strength concrete is poured inside. The styrofoam blocks remain in place after the pour providing incredible insulation. It is a slick building system.

Our shop was done in this fashion primarily to mitigate the noise we would create inside. It has also proved to be a very economical building to heat in the winter months with up to a 60% savings over conventional wood frame, more than that for a comparible concrete block building. When we were planning the house it was a no brainer to go with a similar system. 

There have been significant improvements to the system in the last nine years. The biggest change is a block they make by coating the styrofoam beads with graphite meaning a huge jump in 'R' value and even better insulating qualities. We will be using the LOGIX system - one of the best available today. It is manufactured only five miles from our place, meaning we can save significantly in the freighting charges and be even more green in the process.   LOGIX PLATINUM

The result of this foundation will be a secure and lasting wall we can fasten all the fancy work to follow without any worry of failure. With a shop building now up for the better part of a decade without any issues we go forward with confidence.

Stay tuned to watch the magic happen fast!