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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rapid Texture Wainscot

EnRoute is capable of many things. One unique feature is something called Rapid Texture. Normally routing files are created by creating a relief. Detailed 3D reliefs often take a long time to route.

For the wainscot paneling in our new house we are using Rapid Texture. This feature in EnRoute uses the profile of a (large) bit to create the texture by following vector lines generated by EnRoute. The user first creates seed contours. Then by setting adjusting various perimeters (length, amptitude, jitter etc) the lines can be adjusted in controlled or random ways that effect the texture of the final panel. Panels are generated in mere minutes instead of many hours. The vectors are bent, both vertically and horizontally to create patterns for the tool path and resulting textures.

Here's a few screen shots to show the vectors and controls inside EnRoute.

The seed vectors are shown in the first screen shot.

Here's the vector lines generated by the rapid texture feature.

There are quite a number of things that can be adjusted... each one creating a different result.

The tool we used to create the Rapid Texture is a two inch ball nose bit. It's a monster!

And here's a couple of sample panels of the result.

The panels were routed from 4' x 8' x 1" thick 30 lb Precision Board HDU. It holds the detail perfectly and will hold up well.

In the next few days the panels will begin to be fastened into place. It's going to look pretty cool.