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, May 25, 2013

Hole number markers

May has been one of my most frantic months I can remember in some years. At long last I seem to be getting my feet under me once more. After a week of having no time to build files I have at last got back to my desk once more.

The WhistlePunk Adventure Golf signs are the next thing to be done. It is not often we do batch work where multiples of similar signs need doing but a project like the golf needs just that. EnRoute and our MultiCam are good at that sort of thing. With a reliable machine I set the machine in motion and then only check it once in a while to make sure things are going as they should. Best of all the files are large which means once I made the files the router will churn away for many hours. I'll then throw on another sheet of Precision Board and hit the go button one more time.

The hole markers were today's first task. The signs I am routing today are the fronts and backs. The middle layer which has a hole in the center for the plywood for mounting.

The signs are woodgrain with raised lettering.

As always it started with the vectors. I used my own font called 'quickdraw'. For those interested it is available at letterheadfonts.com

I created three different wood backgrounds. I then duplicated, rotated and flipped these backgrounds until I had 17 different plates to start with. I then duplicated and flipped them one more time to create the backs of the signs. I then spaced them out on my board and centered the numbers on the reliefs.


 I created the number outlines as flat reliefs. These reliefs were then positioned vertically to clear the woodgrain backgrounds.

The number outlines were then merged highest with the base relief. This had to be done one relief at a time as it can't yet be batched in EnRoute.

Lastly the numbers were added to the reliefs using the dome tool They have an upright edge (base) of 0.15".

Then it was time to send the file to the MultiCam to be routed from 30 lb Precision Board. The file will be routed using two passes. The rough pass was with a 3/8" ball nose bit at a 50% overlap. The final pass was using a 1/8" ball nose bit with an 80% overlap. Here's a pic of the rough pass in progress.

Tomorrow I'll be gluing all these signs up and setting the next batch in progress. Stay tuned...