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 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 of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Monday, April 12, 2010

Off to the races...

With our entry to the car show looming I needed to get busy once more to create another piece for our display that would appeal to this crowd. I decided a little hot rod convertible was just the ticket. I whipped up a quick sketch to get my thoughts in order.
Then it was on to EnRoute Pro to build the routing files. Since I wanted to hand sculpt the car I decided to simply cut out car shaped blocks of Precision Board using our MultiCam router. The wheels were built as detailed 3D files for the machine since it could do a much better job in minutes than I could in hours by hand.
The waving flag background and sign face were created in EnRoute and machined in detail on the MultiCam. The flag wad done using bitmaps with a vector outline. The sign was done inside EnRoute by creating reliefs and beveled letters. The whole design process went pretty quick.
Once the MultiCam was done I glued up the pieces and left it in the clamps for night. In the morning it only took a few minutes to quickly do a rough shaping of the car fenders, hood and trunk to get it ready for the sculpting process. While I was at it I used my trusty die grinder to add texture to the sides. top and bottom of the sign base.
Since it is so easy to work, Precision Board allowed me to carve the shapes very rapidly, both by running the machine as fast as it could go and also in my hand tooling. I can count on the 30 lb board remaining very stable to hold both the sculpting epoxy and the paint which came next.
Stay tuned...