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, June 15, 2013

Handy program

EnRoute is a at program to generate routing files and I use it for that every time I need a piece cut. But I also find EnRoute is a great program to use when I need to create a file of any size that needs to be precise. I've used it to generate the plans for all sorts of projects including layouts for the Adventure Golfs we build and our property layout for when we were building our house.

Yesterday I needed to draw a plan I would send off to the folks who were cutting us a thick glass coffee table top. We had hand sculpted the base of the table to look like the 400 year old trees of a plantation my clients had visited in Florida. When they told me of the trees I imagined the stories those old trees might have told if they could talk. And so I sculpted fourteen faces into the trunk of the tree.

When the sculpt was finished I moulded threaded rods into the tips of three branches. These would accept the studs with caps that would hold the tempered glass in place.

I then carefully measured the distance between the three center points of the studs and then used these measurements to generate  the placement of the holes and arcs of the tabletop edge.

I then created the outline of the table using these radii and the straight lines being tangent to them. The hole outlines were also located using the intersection of the lines and measurements.

When I deleted the unwanted lines I was left with the table outline and the holes in the right place. This file I saved as a DXF file which I forwarded to the glass shop for cutting with their water jet cutter.

I look forward to seeing this project done.