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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

G Street sign

Jack Niemann's Black Forest Steakhouse needed a second sign for the handicapped entrance. He asked that this sign for the G Street Entrance be just as fancy as the first. We are making a dimensional sign mounted to the wall to identify the business, but he wanted a matching sign to hang over the G Street door.  First I created the vectors in Illustrator - a vector program I am very comfortable with.

I imported the vector file into PhotoShop and quickly created this illustration with my digital pen and drawing pad to show Jack what I had in mind. He gave instant approval.

Once the approval was in hand I imported the vectors into EnRoute and began the task of building the routing file. The crown moulding could have been done with a sweep two rails, but I decided to build each element separately and then merge them together at the end for maximum flexibility. The vectors were separated in groups. Using the jigsaw tool I cut out the shapes and then merged them together. I used the bevel relief tool to create a relief twice as wide as aI needed and then I merged (merge highest) a zero height relief (of the correct shape) to it to create the shape I needed.

The top and bottom flat portions of the crown were done in a similar fashion using the Jigsaw tool.

Then the egg shaped reliefs  were created and merged highest to the crown molding.

The balance of the reliefs were created and then merged together to form the sign. I duplicated and flipped one of the reliefs to make sure the two halves matched perfectly. Then I added the G to each side as a beveled letter.

The sign ended up being six pieces to be routed from 2" thick 30 lb Precision Board.

This morning before I left for our first day at the Fox & Hound's project I set the MultiCam in motion.