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, February 27, 2014

Critter sign number 3

Dusty's dry goods was the last sign in this critter series. The desert tortoise is about the dustiest and driest thing I could think of and it seemed fitting for this sign. As with the others the critter would be added as a separate hand sculpt.

We would route this sign in two layers of 2" thick. This would allow room to build a nice tortoise. I started with the background of the oval. I wanted it to be dished inwards. Since it is not a complete oval I needed to use a few tricks to make it the right shape. I first created a flat relief.

I then modified this relief using an oval mask and the dome tool.

 I then added the thin oval border outline by raising it slightly.

 The oval would be routed using an island fill while the outline of the sign would be an offset cut. This completed the first layer of the sign.

The top layer of the sign was next. I first created a flat relief.

The next step was to modify the relief by adding the lettering border.

The last step was to add the bevel letters. I used a base of 0.2" and constant height.

This sign will also be cut from two layers of 2" thick Precision Board but I put the laters together so we could see how the sign would look.

The good news is that my old compressor was fixed today AND the new one arrived as well. I'll be hooking them up on Saturday and begin routing once more at last. Stay tuned...