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

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Philip - number one

Philip's name tag was back to basics, a relatively simple 3D build. I started with the vectors - all built in EnRoute and used the offset drawing tool to create the plaque edge and letter borders. The plaque shape is a combination of a rectangle and circle shapes.

Once I had the vectors nailed I stated with a simple flat relief that was 0.65" tall.

Then I dropped the center portions of the plaque by 0.35" . It is deep enough to allow two layers of texture bitmaps. which is the next step.

The first bitmap is called frantic stars (from the TEXTURE MAGIC COLLECTION) I applied it with a value of 0.15" which means the white was raised by 0.15" The black areas didn't do anything remained flat.

Then I imported the splotches bitmap into EnRoute and applied it at 0.1".

The lettering border was created as a separate flat relief at 0.65" tall.

The decorative round bits were the next reliefs to be crated using the bevel tool. I looked at the front view to make sure they were in position vertically.

The round cones and the lettering background were was then merges highest with the background.

 THe last step before tool pathing was to create the prismatic lettering using the bevel relief tool.

I used a 3/8" ball nose bit to rough it out (50% overlap) and a 1/8" ball nose bit with an 80% overlap for the final pass. I used an island fill. The piece was routed from 1.5" thick sheet of 30 lb Precision Board.

Stay tuned for more...