It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated with what I saw 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 and LOTS of hands-on practice I quickly found out that my MultiCam router was capable of just about anything imaginable.This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as I continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful tool... -dan

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Simple dimensional sign

We continue to build dimensional signs for the contractors that are working on our house. Today it was time to start on the cabinet maker's sign. As many times as we build this kind of relatively simple sign there are always a few twists to keep things interesting.

I did the lettering in Illustrator and then built the logo and sign around them. Since the woodgrain bitmap would be applied as four separate rectangular areasI built the panel vectors as well. We would use these as masks for the bitmap.

I first built a flat relief 0.5" thick.

 Then I imported the sandblasted woodgrain bitmap from TEXTURE MAGIC DVD, enlarged and positioned it and applied it with a value of 0.15"

 Next up was the border reliefs around the letters and logo. These were built as flat relief 0.7" high, just enough to clear the woodgrain.

The letter borders were then merged highest with the background.

Lastly te ;etters and logos were added by modifying the base relief using the vectors as a mask.

The file was tool pathed with a 3/8 ball nose bit as a rough pass at 50% overlap. A 1/8" ball nose bit was used for the final tool path set with an 80% overlap. The file was then sent to the MultiCam to be routed from a piece of 1" thick 30 lb Precision Board. Here's a picture of the sign face on the router just as the 1/8" ball nose bit pass was started.

I'll be posting more pictures of this sign as it goes together.