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, January 17, 2011

Sonbuilt 3D logo build part 4

I put the file on the MultiCam this morning. I wanted to route it from 3" Precision Board in one piece since I didn't want to deal with glue seams through the sunburst rays. The only piece I had in stock was 40 lb board and the sheet weighed in at a hefty 320 lbs in total. I like to think I'm tough, but I'm really not. It was far too heavy for me to lift by myself and finally, after all these years, I'm smart enough to know it. I had no one else scheduled to come in and my neighbor wasn't home. After some head scratching I got out the sawzall and cut a 3' piece off the sheet. It still clocked in at over a hundred pounds but I managed to wrestle it into the router room and onto the table.

Because of the depth I decided to do the rough cuts in three passes - probably overkill but I didn't break the bit either. :)  For the finish pass I used a tapered 1/8" ballnose bit. I could have lied to the machine and told it the bit was longer to accomplish the cut in one pass but it was easier and quicker to start the first pass, then stop the machine and do a proximity restart at the edge of the first pass and go almost straight to the final pass. That is why the edge of the final cut is done while the router is still working from the center. I'll stop the router as soon as we get to that point.

Tomorrow I'll start in on the other pieces of this jigsaw puzzle and it should start looking more like the logo we want to emulate shortly.