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, August 9, 2010

How to build a submersible model...

Many years ago, back when I first got a lathe I decided to build a model of a submersible vessel. I started with a fishing float I had found. I used wood, paper, paint, bits of wire and a bunch of other things to craft it. The rivets were those little plastic, googly eyes I found in a craft store. Its been on my shelf ever since. The model has inspired a number of projects through the years for theme parks.

When I got our MultiCam router, one of the first projects I tackled was a submarine model. Its a half model and hangs in our shop bathroom. I explored the limits of what I was capable of at the time. 

Now with the debut of this new project and a submarine theme room it is time to explore the subject one more time. Only this time there are far fewer limitations. It's time for some real fun!As always I started with some sketches. These were done at 30,000 feet as I flew to Illinois last week. The first is the entire sign as it will be seen from the front. I've noted where we will insert some LED's and sculpt some sea life. We'll be going all out this time.

The sub itself will be somewhat similar to the previous models. But this time the glass will be kept clear and I will sculpt a full interior which will be lit for full effect. I established the proportions with this sketch.

The interior, like the rest of the submarine will be  combination of CNC work and a little hand sculpting.

I scratched my head for a little bit as to how best sculpt the project, specifically the interior. I decided I would first buy a fishbowl and then insert the interior into it (after it was finished). The sub would then be formed around the bowl. After some searching I located a suitable glass bowl. I've measured things up carefully and next I will build the files I need to do the routing. I'll be covering that task in the next installments.

Stay tuned...