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

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Building a train - Part fourteen

With the locomotive now almost done it is time to work on the log car. It will sport a giant log with the name of the adventure golf on the side. The rounded log back and ends will be sculpted from fiberglass reinforced concrete. The face of the sign is to be routed from 30 lb Precision Board.

To create the woodgrain on the log I would use a sandblasted woodgrain from my TEXTURE MAGIC collection. The bitmaps are 11" x 8.5" at 300 DPI meaning they can be blown up considerably and still get good results. My sign face covered 4' x 8' and I would only be using a small portion of the bitmap. It's marked in red below.

I first created a flat relief and the moved the bitmap over the relief, sized it appropriately and then entered a value of 0.2" depth.

The lettering outline was created as a separate relief, nudged into position vertically and then MERGED HIGHEST with the background relief.

 The lettering was then added to the base relief.


The file was then tool pathed and sent to the MultiCam using a 3/8" ball nose bit to rough and a 1/8" ball nose bit to do a final pass. The sign face was laminated (with two other layers) around a welded steel frame.

Once the glue was dry we lifted the sign into place and welded the steel frame to the structural frame of the log car.

Then we began the painting process using Coastal Enterprises water based primer.

Next week this piece will quickly come together. Stay tuned...