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, September 8, 2015

Modifying an existing relief

A friend of mine recently sent me a file they had created some time ago. It only needed a small modification to make it usable. They had someone make the file for them a few years ago. Now the spark plug needed to be plain on top instead of having ribs. They also wanted to make the spark plug six feet tall and so needed to slice it into two inch thickness slices which would be reassembled to finish the piece.

I took the file my friend had sent me and sized it to six feet tall in EnRoute.

I then drew two vector shapes which I would use to modify the original relief. I drew them with the render on to get them in the correct position. The pill shaped piece was the relief we would use to remove the ribs and the square shape zero height relief would be used to trim the pill shape to the correct length.

The first new relief I created was done using the dome tool. The angle was set to 90 degrees which gave me a full round shape (half). 

 When I hit render the ribs were hidden with this new shape.

I then created a zero height relief using the square vectors.

To trim it to length I would use merge highest with the pill relief. I followed the commands using my rectangle flat relief as the base relief.

After going through the merge using REPLACE I checked the progress with a render.

The original pill relief was not affected but it is no longer needed so I pulled it out of the way.

Things looked pretty good so now it was time to merge this replacement piece with the original spark plug relief. Once again I used the replace command.

After doing the merging it was time for a visual check. After combining the reliefs I noticed the left hand side had a slight ridge whee the two pieces joined. If I was worried about this I would have to back up a few steps and adjust things but to me it looked like this could easily and quickly be taken care of with a little sand paper when we are finished reassembling it. I would go as is.

Now it was time for some slicing which I will cover in the next post.