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, October 15, 2015

Bottle cap

I was asked just how I might create a bottle cap in EnRoute. While I suppose there are many ways to go about it here's my method.

First, depending on how accurate you wish to be you would need to measure a bottle cap to get the proportions. I didn't have a bottle cap handy and so I just guessed for this demonstration piece. I opened the star tool and defined my vector shape as having twenty corners. Now as I look at the menu I see a bulge function which would have saved me some of the next steps... but no matter. If I were using that I suspect it would have taken a negative number to get what I wanted. I did it by hand a couple of steps down.

I then drew a circle and entered it in my faceted shape.

I modified the faceted vector using the point editing tool

I then used the round shape to create a hero height relief.

I then Chamfered to centreline using a shape I had drawn. This created the tapered edge disk with rounded top edges.

 I then used my bevel tool (with an angle of 80 degrees) with limit to height to build the crimped edges of the bottle cap. This was done as a separate relief.

As a last step in modifying the relief I used the dome tool to add a slight roundness to the top of the cap.

I them merged the two reliefs together using the merge highest function. I merged the round shape to the crimped edge shape.

Although my demonstration piece wasn't quite to scale it shows how I would tackle a piece like this.