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

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Going fishing

Each time I talk to my good friend Danny Baronian in California he reminds me I promised him I would do a post on how I created the little fish boat in the Smyer's sign. Tonight I am making good on that promise.

The little cartoon fish boat was created entirely in EnRoute. It is one of those projects I would caution those who have not yet got a good handle on EnRoute to leave alone for a while. Learn the basic functions first - then get fancy.

The vectors were created using the drawing vector editing tools. The thing to keep in mind is the shapes of the rliefs you want to create as well as what you need to take away to make it happen.

The first shape is the bulbous hull. It looks a lot like a miss-shapen egg. 

Then I selected what I wanted to slice off the hull shape and created a zero height relief. This was then merged lowest to give us the proper hull shape on top.

as quick as that we have a basic hull shape. The bumper rails on the side of the hull were added by adding to the relief.

The keel was next. this was created as a separate flat relief. We'll merge it to the hull later.

The round front cab is next and we'll create the revolve tool to form it. This is done as a mesh object which is then merged to a zero height relief. 

I then stretched out the cab to form an oval when looked at in the front view.

I created another zero hight relief i the shape of a rectangle. This would be used to slice off the back of the boat cab,  using the merge lowest command.

The front storage locker and sloping lid were simple flat reliefs built separately. Everything was positioned and then I drew a new vector around everything. This vector was used to create a new zero height relief. Everything was merged highest to this flat relief. 

Just like that (in about 30 minutes) we had a cute little fish boat.  

There are many ways that could have been used to substitute some of the steps I used. I am sure there are some simpler methiods. But no matter what, as you can see it is both fun and challenging to use EnRoute. With it I can build anything I can imagine.