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, January 11, 2013

Building a train - part two

I designed a second style of wheels that would be used on the back side of the locomotive and on the log car. I used some of the same vectors to make sure the wheels would be the same size. The relief was simple compared to the geared wheel. I haven't got screen captures of the entire process but I'll describe it for you. The outside relief (wheel flange) was first (not shown)  It was a flat relief at 0.4" tall. Then I selected the next inside ring and modified the first relief to raise up the rim of the material. The next step was to drop the center part of the wheel I used the dome tool with a 0.4 base and an angle of 44 degrees.

The center hub was then built as a flat relief that was 3.0 inches tall. This was merged highest with the wheel relief. To drill the hole in the center I created a separate zero height relief. this was merged lowest to drill out the center for the axle. As quick as that the file was ready to be sent to the MultiCam. I routed the wheels from 3" 40 lb Precision Board. It's not often I do routing from 3" thick material and forty pound at that but I keep a couple of sheets on hand for just such a purpose. This is the third train we've made.

Here's a shot of an axle mocked up.

The geared wheels took about an hour to route (times four) while the plainer wheels took about forty minutes each (times twelve wheels). There are sixteen wheels in all. Today I finished the train wheels and started in on the wheels for the log car.  While the MultiCam was busy I fired up the welder and began work on the train engine frame

There is still a long ways to go but it is coming along nicely.