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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Runaway train sign

The next project to be created is the Runaway Mine Train sign. The file wasn't difficult but it had a lot of pieces.

 The first step was to decide what would be on each layer. Much would be built as separate reliefs and then merged at the end.

I then made a vector around the outside. This would be a zero height relief to which everything would be merged.

Then I began modifying this relief by adding the letter borders starting with the lowest level.

Then it was the next border layer.

Then it was time to raise the letters.

Then it was time to build the curved beam and tracks. These reliefs were built separately. The beam and rail center were done at the same height.

The rail ties were next.

Then came the bottom flange of the rail.

The top rail was the last relief to be created.

Then it was a simple matter of merging (highest) everything to the background relief.

I tool pathed the file and then sent it off to the MultiCam. It was routed from a 1.25" thick piece of 30 lb Precision Board.

There's still the middle piece and the back files to create as well as the mining car. Those will be next. Stay tuned...