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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Celtic delight

The build of this name plaque started a little different than most. We would start with the bitmap and let it determine the shape and proportions of our plaque. The Celtic weave bitmap is part of the TEXTURE MAGIC COLLECTION I imported that into EnRoute as a first step. Although I wanted the plaque to be horizontal format it is not yet possible to rotate bitmaps inside EnRoute. So it was a simple matter of building the file vertically and then rotating it 90 degrees for later steps. I built the vector around the bitmap and then created a flat relief that was 0.3" thick, then adding the texture bitmap at 0.2" thick.

Then I rotated the relief 90 degrees and inserted the lettering and outline. I also built the border as a separate relief using the dome tool with a 1" vertical edge.


I created a separate flat relief of the lettering border. Then I imported the splotches texture and applied it with a value of 0.1"  The Celtic weave looks so much better with a little texture to age it down a little.

I made sure everything fit vertically inside my 1.5" thick Precision Board and then merged highest onto a zero height relief. The last step was to modify this relief by adding the lettering. It was domed slightly with a base (vertical side) on the lettering of 0.15"

Then it was time to tool path the file 3/8" ballnose bit for the rough pass and a final pass using the 1/8" tapered ball nose bit with a 80% overlap.

The texture catches the light beautifully and will paint up in a spectacular fashion.

Stay tuned for more...