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, September 7, 2012

Lucky Jim Gold Mine inspiration

The house is a fun project and we've used EnRoute, Precision Board and our MultiCam plenty but lately I've been itching for something a little more creative. With the house we typically don't need one copy of anything but instead keep the router busy making fifty copies of what we need. That is a little too much like production work and that doesn't totally scratch my creative itch after a while. Things have slowed down enough for me to start thinking about some new samples for the display wall.

I've long wanted to do an imaginative piece that incorporated LED lights and even had some ideas in mind. One of those ideas was inspired more than four decades ago when I visited an abandoned gold mine on Quadra Island. It was called Lucky Jim's Gold mine. So that will be my next sample project.

Little about the actual mine I saw long ago will make it into the actual piece with the exception of the name... but it is a cool start. I spent a few minutes online looking for images of mine cars. I found two great photos that gave me the information I needed.

I wanted this display piece to be wider than it is tall. I grabbed my sketch book and started scribbling...   I drew the drawing in two pieces, not concerned about fonts, or even scale at this point.

Then I imported the rough and quick sketches into PhotoShop to tidy things up a tad and then assemble the parts into one image. This is close enough to begin the actual design of the piece using vectors.

Because I'm not sure of the final size of the piece (and it does not matter) I'll build the mine car and figure first and then scale the background sections around that. I started with the vectors of the wheel - all work done using the drawing tools in EnRoute. In the next post I'll show how I created the wheel reliefs. 

Stay tuned...