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, July 21, 2012

Richard's plumbing

Our in floor heating contractor decided he too wanted a sign our front of our house. He handed me his business card and said I could start with that idea but had full license to change what I wanted to make it look good as a sign. He would adjust the business card and truck lettering to follow my design. His original design had elements that worked and were worth keeping but the colors were in the wrong order and simply did not read well. Red lettering on a dark blue background is never a good idea. Like the elements of the business card we would simply rearrange the colors. In this fashion the logo would be evolutionary instead of revolutionary. 

I did up the lettering in Illustrator. The RPH in the oval I traced by hand in PhotoShop.

Once I had imported the vectors into EnRoute I first created an apostrophe that was a little closer to his original logo. Then I added the outline around the oval. This was them merged with the rectangular outline of the sign. Everything was slid into place and centered.

Since the sign would be part of a growing set out by our sidewalk I decided to use a similar background to many of the others, The SPLOTCHES bitmap from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection did the trick. It was done with a value of 0.2" of height.

The rectangle was added to the original relief, meaning it too had the same texture as the background

The primary copy was done as separate bevelled reliefs, then positioned vertically and merged highest.

The oval was done in the same fashion using the dome tool. It too was merged highest with the base relief.

Then I added the lettering to the dome by modifying the relief with the letter vectors.

This sign like the others was done in three layers The center layer was routed to create a space for the 1" square tubing frame. I first created the separate elements of the frame design. 

 These were merged and then I used the jigsaw tool to create the outlines of the pieces I would need.

 The middle and back pieces were routed from 1" thick Precision Board.

The sign measures just under four feet wide and about two feet tall. 

Now it is on to paint!