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, June 19, 2012

Dimensional contractor signs

Six dimensional signs are now up in front of the new house. These signs proudly advertise our contractor's and supplier's involvement in our house project. Typical flat coroplast signs simply aren't allowed.and more signs are being made all the time. The sign that went up today was for the great folks that are doing the spray foam in the ceiling. I posted a how to a few days ago.

Our electrician asked for a sign yesterday. As with most of the signs we have made, he had an existing logo to work with. We will translate this flat design into a three dimensional sign. This one will be a fun one!

I first recreated the vectors in Illustrator and then imported them into EnRoute. The electrical cords would be created in EnRoute with the ends of the cords being hand sculpted and coming away from the sign.

I first manipulated the cord vetoers to give them the right curves.

Using the offset tool I created a second parallel line.

The parallel lines were then joined. The rectangular relief was created first.

I added a texture to the whole surface using a bitmap called splotches from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection.

The letter outlines ampersand were created as separate flat reliefs of different heights. I then nudged them into position vertically in the front view and merged highest with the background relief. The electrical cords were created as separate reliefs using the dome tool.

Once the separate reliefs were merged with the background I modified the relief by adding the domed letters.

Lastly I created the bottom lettering as separate reliefs, nudged them into place vertically and then merged them highest with the background relief. 

The sign was ready for tool pathing and then to be sent to the MultiCam. It like all the others will be routed from 30 lb Precision Board. This one is a little different however as I will have the armature for the electrical cord welded back into the sign support structure. It is going to be fun! 

Stay tuned to see how it comes together...

-grampa dan