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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fifty ways to build a relief - part two

Now that we've created a simple relief and modified it a couple different ways it is time to get a little fancier. Let's start with a chamfered border on our fish plaque.

We started with the very same vectors of course. The first step is to create a vector outline. The border will take a bit more real estate and we don't want to crowd the fish.

For the ogee edge I created a vector in the shape I desired. Then I made a zero height relief of the oval. By selecting this flat relief the chamfering contour button became active. I opened that menu and then followed the prompts.

At first glance nothing changed in the top view but when I hit the render button (light bulb) my fancy edge was perfect.

But I wanted more. The fish really came alive yesterday when we domed the top of our relief. To dome it only inside the center oval I selected the base relief and then the modifying vector. This would dome the center portion of the oval only. Once again as I clicked the apply button nothing seemed to happen in the top view.

 But when I rendered the piece it was starting to look pretty special.

The last step was to select the base relief, and the fish vector and modify the relief once more by ADDING TO it.  I used a value of 0.3".  The result was just what I was expecting.

In the front view I can see how much it domes up and how high my relief of the fish sticks up off the surface. I was happy with the result.

As you can see, once you master the basics you can then add more to them to create some pretty fancy work. But you can bet we are not nearly finished yet. There are endless ways to fry this fish. Stay tuned...