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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crow's nest sign part 1

The lettering portion of the Crow's Nest (a spinning drop tower ride) is to be routed from Precision Board. The figure on top is a sculpt and the post and sail will be sculpted concrete over steel. It is truly a multi-medium project. 

As most often is the case it started with a quick sketch in my book with a ball point pen. This drawing was then vectorized (by hand) and imported into EnRoute.

I then imported a cartoon wood bitmap. Currently bitmaps are not able to be rotated inside EnRoute so the solution is to build a relief (in the orientation required by the bitmap) apply the relief and then rotate back to whatever suits. Easy enough.  I did a quick vector trace of the outline of the board and then created a flat relief. The bitmap was then applied to this relief.

O then reoriented the relief and stretch it out as needed.

I wanted the board to be arched to match the letting, a simple task with the warp tool. 

I then created a flat relief of the lettering outline. This was positioned vertically (in the front view) and then merged highest with the wood grained relief.

The addition of the bevelled lettering was the last step.

I should mention that I created a second copy of the relief before I added the lettering. This was used to create the (reverse) back piece and the centre section which had a cutout for the structural steel I will place inside when I laminate the sign together. Below is a screen shot of all three pieces just before I applied the tool paths.

I sent the files off to the MultiCam for routing from 30 lb Precision Board. Tomorrow I'll be gluing everything together with more progress shots along the way. Stay tuned...