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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lectern - Part one

Building rather complex objectss is something I enjoy immensely. As I designed I knew from experience just how I would accomplish building the files in EnRoute, how I would machine them with our MultiCa, and how they would then be assembled and finished. Because Precision Board has certain limitations as far as structural strength I knew just how we would weld up a steel frame to go inside. Because the lectern would have to travel many, many thousands of miles and stand up to use in many trade shows we had to get it right from the start.

As I started building the files I first decided in my mind how many pieces we would build and how these pieces would be layered. I first had to decide scale.

The riveted front motor housing was the first piece to be made it a relief. This was fairly straight forward. The file was built entirely in EnRoute.  The inside and outside circle determined the dimensions of raised layer or outer ring. The intersecting lines would be the counterpoints for the rivets.

I then typed in an 'M' and sized and positioned it in the center circle. I didn't get a screen capture but I used the jigsaw tool to get the shapes I needed around the 'M'.

Creating a flat relief was the first order of business.
 Then I used the center shapes around the 'M' to drop the center.
As a last step I created the rivets by modifying the relief using the dome tool.

The table support bracket was next and again it was fairly simple. I defined the shapes using the vector drawing tools.  The rectangle at the bottom was used to segment off the bottom piece. I defined this area using the jigsaw tool.

Then I used the offset drawing tool to create the outline of dropped center portion of the bracket.

At this point I changed my mind and decided that the top (big) flat side of the bracket needed to be as deep as the round collar at the bottom. To do this I created a rectangle of appropriate size. I positioned the rectangle vector and used the jigsaw tool to again define the dropped portion (not shown.)

The round hole through the bracket was created by making a zero height relief. This zero height relief would be merged lowest as a last step to create the hole.

I then made one more outline to make a zero height relief. All of the pieces would be merged (highest) to this relief

The two table top brackets would each have three layers with the center layer  being cut out to accept the steel support. 

With the first two reliefs needed for the lectern created it was time to fire up the MultiCam. The pieces were routed from 1.5" thick 30 lb Precision Board.