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, April 26, 2012

Jigsaw delight

It is not often I use our MultiCam to merely cut pieces. With the new house now in progress it will get pressed into service to cut shapes more often than it has in the past. The first task is to cut the window bucks or forms. Since we are using the insulated concrete forms we need to make wooden bucks or forms to keep the concrete out of the window and door areas. These stay in place after the pour to fasten the door and window frames in place. Normally these forms would be pretty straight forward - perfectly square and level. But in our house the simple ones merely have rounded tops. The more complex ones much more than that. I designed the openings in EnRoute and the MultiCam is the perfect tool to ensure everything fits perfectly when the windows arrive.

These kinds of exact and technical files hurt my head a whole lot more than the 3D ones. With the price of the windows I suspect it is mostly the pressure of getting everything perfect the first time. For the cutting of the window bucks which would be made from plywood I first simplified the drawings keeping only the outside border. The bottom of the window bucks needed to be cut away so we could pour concrete into the forms. To maximize material usage I fit the smaller windows inside the bigger ones. I also put some runs holes in the largest pieces to make them easier to handle.

The next task was to make everything fit onto sheets of plywood/ The tallest pieces were cut to size by laying over a rectangular vector and using the jigsaw tool. I nested everything by hand. Each file will be cut twice (except the last one which was already duplicated) meaning the window bucks will require twenty five sheets plywood.

It shouldn't take long to whittle the parts, much longer to fit them together. I'll post some pictures of the pieces as they go together. Stay tuned...