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, March 3, 2012

A star is born

Chris' name plaque had a lot less steps compared to some of the others. It was to be a simple domed oval with  border and slightly raised textured center. I tweaked the font I chose as the 's' was higher than the other letters. O made the 'c' and the 'r' the same height. This balanced the extender of the 'h' and the dot of the 'i' nicely. An outline around the lettering completed the vectors. If I am using textures for the background (which I almost always do) I like to put a border around the lettering as it makes the words much more readable in my view.

To start I selected the outer oval, entered a value for the base of 0.4" and an angle of 14 degrees. This means the plaque will be 0.4" thick on the edge and the dome will start at 14 degrees as it rounds over. I knew from experience that for this size plaque and 1.5" thick Precision Board this would fit nicely.

Next I again selected the oval relief and the inside oval vector and modified the relief by raising the selected area 0.15"   Then I imported a bitmap from my TEXTURE MAGIC collection called 'frantic stars' I selected the oval relief , the inside oval vector (to define where I wanted the texture) I also selected the lettering border. Because it was inside the other vector I selected it acted as a hole, meaning the texture would not go here. I added a value of 0.15" for the texture which meant it would bump up by that amount.

Then I selected the oval relief once more as well as the lettering border. I would modify the relief once more to raise this area 0.2" - just above the frantic star texture.

The last step was to create the prismatic lettering. I selected the oval relief and the letters. I would use the prismatic tool which I would use to modify the relief. I entered a value of 0.15 for the base (vertical portion of the letters and set the angle of the tops at 21degrees slope.

Just like that Chris' name plaque was ready to tool path and send off to the MultiCam.

Stay tuned for more soon...