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, April 22, 2014

Fun utensil rack

The next routing file I am creating is for the Cookies kitchen. It will be attached to the menu board inside. For those who take a good look at Cookie outside they will see he sports a egg beater instead of a hook on his missing hand.  The joke is he has a whole selection of other implements handy for when he needs them.

The first step was to create the vectors. The font is custom of course and was hand drawn. The rest is a quick trace of the shapes needed.

Then it was time to create some reliefs starting with the main part of the sign. I used the bevel tool but limited the height to create the bevelled edges.

The shelf supports were created in the same fashion adjusting the values some to make them a little taller. They were done as separate reliefs.

The lettering was then incised into the base relief using the bevel tool and subtracting from the relief.

Then it was time for some texture. I used a cartoon woodgrain texture, horizontal for the shelf and vertical with the supports.

The pegs were last as a separate relief and were created once again by using the bevel tool and limiting the height. I'll add the woodgrain later by hand as it is quick and easy.

The elements of the sign were now complete. I first combined the shelf and brackets and then merged highest by modifying the base relief with the pegs. This operation is done one piece at a time.

Then it was on to the cuffs of the utensils. I only needed to create one which I would then duplicate to create five copies. I would use the revolve contours tool to create a mesh.

 This mesh was then placed on a zero height relief

I then selected the mesh and zero height flat relief and used the merge (HIGHEST) tool to combine the mesh with the relief.

I then used the slice tool to get rid of the flat part leaving the relief of half the cuff. I duplicated them to create the pieces I needed.

This is going to be a fun sign to assemble and finish up. I can hardly wait.