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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Building the vehicles - part one

The Sign Challenge sculpture will have five hover vehicles circling around a central rocket. I built some common part files and then modified them to make each vehicle unique. I began by drawing up the concept art for two of the vehicles.

The file was built entirely in EnRoute. I built the vectors and then the reliefs as individual pieces, and then nudged them up or down in the front view to make everything work.

After I had built the reliefs I went into the front and side views to see how the pieces looked height wise in relation to each other. As needed I nudged them up or down.

I also rendered the piece after every operation to make sure I was achieving the results I wanted.

The round reliefs were then modified by dropping the center  about a quarter inch to form a pocket. The translucent lenses will be dropped into this space.

All of the reliefs were combined by using the MERGE HIGHEST command.

I then created a center relief with a zero height. This was merged lowest to form the hole in the center.

I duplicated these parts to form five pieces. Three were done in the size I built. Two were modified by scaling them, one shorter and one narrower. They were then tool pathed and sent off to the MultiCam to be routed from 1" thick 30 pound Precision Board.

Once the pieces came off the router I dropped in the lenses and I brushed on two coats of paint used a little sculpting epoxy to permanently fasten them in place. When the paint was dry I put the LED lights behind for a test run. It looked great!