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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Using bitmaps to shape panels

I probably use bitmaps more than most folks who use EnRoute, but they can be used for so many cool effects. This name plaque is another good example. I started with some squiggly lines, sized them so the 1/8" bit would fit comfortably then created my vectors based on this size so no squares were cut. I created a relief and added the squiggly line checkerboard pattern. 

Then I imported the next bitmap. a dark to light to dark fade which I had created in PhotoShop. this creates a pleasing wave when applied to a relief.

I had created a border around John's name which I created as a flat relief, then applied this same wave bitmap. This ensured the two files would match.

I built a panel/border then merged everything. Then I used the dome tool to add the lettering vectors.

The panel was then tool pathed and sent to the MultiCam to be routed from 30 lb Precision Board.

Another panel was ready for the paint shop...