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

Friday, August 3, 2012

More trim

There are many files and hundreds (perhaps thousands) of pieces to route for the new house. We are concentrating on the outside trim these day and keeping the MultiCam running day and night. The last few days we've been working on the round window trims. The theme is hearts as an insert in the heavy woodgrain. The hearts will be vertical, no matter what the angle of the trim. This means a lot of the pieces have to be custom designed and cut to fit. The parts were designed entirely in EnRoute. The hundreds of hearts were each randomly placed by hand.

I first selected the backgrounds and created a flat relief that was 0.5" tall. The hearts were then selected individually in three passes making sure the ones selected did not overlap. The three passes were made into flat relief 0.8", 0.7" and 0.6" respectively. After each pass selecting the hearts and creating the reliefs I merged them to the background relief and then deleted them to minimize confusion. In retrospect I could have created the hearts on different layers.

The reliefs that contained the hearts were done on slightly oversize reliefs which would be merged (highest) to the actual heart inserts. This allowed me to create slightly different shaped panels that were custom fit to the front and back windows.

I then selected the larger panels and created a relief that was 0.7" tall.

The curved trim pieces were 5-7 feet long and were to be heavy woodgrain. I imported the sandblasted woodgrain from the TEXTURE MAGIC collection. This was enlarged to fit the curved piece inside a section of grain I liked and then applied at 0.2"

Now it was time to merge (REPLACE) the fancy insert. I could also have used the merge lowest command but there was a chance some of the wood grain might have showed through the higher points.

 Once I loved the original heart inserts out of the way the pieces were ready to be too pathed and sent off to the MultiCam. They will be routed from one inch thick 30 lb Precision Board.

 Some of the pieces are still on the MultiCam but the ones up on the house are looking VERY cool!

Stay tuned for more...