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

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Creating the balloon sign file

The Balloon Adventure sign looks simple but there were a bunch of steps to create the routing file. The bottom section of the song was pretty standard. As always I started with the lettering vectors. I created these in Illustrator and then imported them into EnRoute where the rest of the file creation would take place.

I used the offset tool to create a lettering double border, then created a flat relief using the outside line.

I then modified this relief by selecting both it and the next inner vector. I added to the first relief and in the process raised the next border.

The letters were then created by modifying the original relief one more time using the letters as my mask. I used the bevel tool this time with a base of 0.2"  I also used the constant height function as the letters had thick and this portions. This altered the angle to create all the same height on the top point of the bevels.

Then we were on to the balloon portion of the sign. I created the vectors in EnRoute and then used the revolve tool to create a mesh.

I then created a zero height relief in a rectangle surrounding the ballon. I selected both the balloon and mesh to allow me to merge them together. I used the merge highest command.

I then used the slice tool to create all the slices of the ballon. This would allow me to cut them from a piece of 30 lb 1.5" thick Precision Board.

I then tool pathed the file before sending it off to the MultiCam router.