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, August 13, 2013


The next letter for this sign were for the word 'SHOP'. The 'S' is a length of hose, bent into an 'S' shape. A round fitting on each end looks snazzy.  These were created using the dome tool To create the fittings on each end I created a longer vector, used the dome tool to create the relief and then overlaid a zero height smaller shape, By merging the longer shape to this I could effectively clip the ends square.

The 'H' is a combination of various shapes which were then MERGED HIGHEST to the base relief as a last step.

The 'O' and the 'P' were created at the same tile as the gears were similar. The 'O' gear then got a raised hub with a hole drilled into it by using the merge lowest tool and a zero height relief of that size.

The stroke of the P was created as a separate relief and then the center portion of the shape was dropped using the lettering vectors as a mask. leaving them the same height as the border.

That completed the lettering and I was happy with the result. Then it was on to the border - a simple domed and raised border. I built it as a separate file as well as the rivets, then merged highest.

The gear was the last relief I created. All of the reliefs were then merged highest onto a zero height relief. This made the file ready to tool path and route.

Give the file a try - it's great fun!