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, June 21, 2011

Creating work on the fly.

I've never gotten used to the fact that I can have an early breakfast in our little town and lunch in a city on the other side of our continent. Add to that that I post this blog sitting at the airport, waiting for my plane. My computer isn't hooked to any wires, and the post will be instantly read around the world. It is an amazing world!

Today's file is another fictitious beer label, celebrating the story of the Fox and Hounds Pub. The horn's basic shape will be routed in Precision BOard and then a final skin of Abracadabra sculpt will be aded with the details. I suspect it will get lots of handling and this is the strongest way of doing it.

The preliminary artwork was done in Illustrator, the artist's concept in Photoshop.

I imported the Illustrator files into EnRoute and separated the layers as they would be routed. The two halves of the crown were joined and the two lower layers of the scroll added. The lettering borders and as well as the border around the crown were adeded as well.

Then I started building the reliefs - all separate so I could adjust their height before merging. The Union Jack was done as a simple modification of the center dished shaped circle.

Once I had merged everything I stated adding more details including the letter outlines.

I built the horn as a domed relief, then copied and flipped it so the two halves would glue together as a separate piece. The scroll will also be a separate layer. The bevelled lettering was the last step, making the file ready for tool pathing. Now the file is ready to be sent to the MultiCam and routed from a sheet of 1.5" 30 lb Precision Board.

It will have to wait until I return from my trip to the US. Stay tuned...