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, March 19, 2013

Killer of fish

A perfect name plaque for a fisherman on your list would be this next one. I made it for John from Colorado. There are a couple tricky steps in making this plaque as I wanted the fish texture to go through his name but not through the border around it. The files were created in EnRoute Pro 5. The vectors are first.  I started with the letters and simple oval. I then created an offset oval (to the inside. This vector was distorted using the distortion tool to create a slightly wavy line.

I created a comes relief using the outside vector, modifying it by adding the center oval as a raised relief ( 0.15" )

I then added a texture using 'SPLOTCHES' from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection using a value of 0.1".

The fish texture was next, again from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection, this time with a value of 0.15".

The lettering border was first created as a flat relief 0.5" tall. I then modified it using an oval vector and the dome tool to make the border the same radius as the base relief. I then went to the front view and using the up/down keys positioned the letter outline relief to the right place in relation to the base relief.

Then I selected the lettering (not the lettering outline) and the base relief and modified the base relief by raising the lettering. It had the fish texture through it. it.

I could then merge highest the lettering outline and the base relief creating the effect I desired.

I tool pathed the file using the 3/8" ball nose bit with a 50% overlap as a rough pass. The final pass was with a 1/8" tapered bit at 80% overlap. It was then sent to the MultiCam at 300 inches per minute to be routed from 30 lb Precision Board.

The finished plaque measures 9.5" tall by 15" wide by 1.5" thick and tool about 35 minutes to route.

Stay tuned for the next plaque...