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, April 11, 2013

Dov's name plaque

As always the name plaques start with the vectorized design. The lettering was simply typed. For the background I had to build a file using diamonds. The simplest way was to use long rectangles going diagonally in both directions and then use the jigsaw tool to pick out the shapes I needed.

Then I used the distort tool (new in version 5 of EnRoute) to bend up the lines a little.

Then I built a flat relief and modified it using a rectangle with rounded corners to add a dome shape to the top. I would use the same vectors and angle of dome to modify the letter outline a few steps down the line. I then modified the relief once more by adding to it using the diamond shapes as a mask.

My favorite bitmap from the TEXTURE MAGIC Collection called splotches was used to add a little texture to the surface.

The lettering was next, first building a flat relief and then modifying it using the dome tool and using the rounded corner rectangle.

The lettering outline was then nudged up to position in the front view using the up key and then merged highest to become part of the base relief.

Lastly I added the lettering using the bevel tool. The base of he letter (vertical side) was set at 0.15"  

I tool pathed the file using a 3/8" bit for a 50% overlap rough pass and then applied a final pass using the 1/8" bit and a 80% overlap. It was then sent to the MultiCam to be routed from a piece of 1" thick 30 lb Precision Board. Twenty minutes later Pov's name plaque was ready for the paint process.

There's still one more name plaque to go. Stay tuned...