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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

House built with love

We've been struggling to come up with the details on the trim of our new house. Over the last months we've tried all kinds of things. Leaves, Celtic trim, Butterflies, all kind of things were tried, but nothing satisfied both Janis & I. Today I asked our son Peter to come up with something new. He took inspiration from the window shutters I had created almost nine years ago when we built the tower that houses our electrical and other services out front of our property.

Peter drew two drawings, one detailing the trim and another that shows a side view of the knees that will be under the soffits. Hearts are the new theme. Janis & I both loved the new treatment.

Once we decided to give the new trim a go we went out to the new house and did some quick sketching on the wall, deciding in the process where each piece would go. There was lots of trial and error, but it only took a little while until we had a plan.

The next order of business was to create a sample on the router. I created vectors for each piece full size. This was important enough to do up some pieces using Precision board. These samples will most likely be used to experiment with paint colors as well..

I started by creating a flat relief of the center panel.

I selected various hearts at random and then grouped them. These would be raised at different levels.

Once I has created separate reliefs of the hearts and bumped them to the appropriate height it was time to merge (highest) them to the flat relief I had first created.

The outside frame was created as a separate relief. I added a woodgrain texture to this area.

Then everything was put together to form the complete panel. This was tool pathed and sent to the MultiCam for routing from 30 lb Precision Board.

The square blocks were the next. I created two flat reliefs, one of the border and one of the center portion.

The heart was added to the relief using the dome function. By using the constant height control the heart would be a little flatter on top.

The horizontal woodgrain from my TEXTURE MAGIC collection was added to the outside border.

The resulting trim pieces were perfect for the new house.

Soon the router will be busy for days, turning out the pieces necessary to go all around the house. One more piece of the grand puzzle is in place.