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, July 5, 2012

Final trim at last

The house is coming together quickly. The carpenters are busy sheeting the roof. While they are up there we busy working on the lower walls. The tree armatures are welded and the expanded diamond lath is in place. Now at last it is time for us to get working on the trim. Today the first pieces came off the router. From now on the router will be busy.

The first project was the trim around the front door. 

I started with the vectors I had created when I made the window bucks. I drew up a couple of new ovals and then drew a diagonal line on each side. these lines would be the separation lines between the three boards we would create. I used the jigsaw tool to create the three boards.

Then I used the offset tool to create the there panels inside the boards.

I positioned the hearts through the panel. The panels were made into flat reliefs .3" tall. Then I selected various hearts that did not connect or touch through the panel. These were made into a relief 0.8" tall. These were then merged (highest) to the flat relief. 

Once the first batch was merged I deleted them. Then I selected the next batch of hearts and created new reliefs that were 0.8" tall. These were then merged (highest) to the base relief.

After the second batch was merged and deleted it only left a few hearts which were selected and then made into reliefs 0.6" tall. They were treated like the previous ones. 

The outside vectors were then made into a new relief. I added a woodgrain bitmap to create the woodgrain. Then I used the merge tool to REPLACE RELIEF to insert the heart panel I had created previously as described above. 

This was tool pathed using a 3/8" bit to rough things out. A final pass (with an 80% overlap) was done with a 1/8" ball nose bit. The final step was to cut the pieces out using an offset cut.

Tomorrow I'll cut the last piece and we'll be fastening them into place. I can hardly wait to se them up!