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, February 27, 2014

Critter sign 2

For the second critter sign I chose the apothecary store. This is what they called drug stores in the olden days. In the wild west some unsavory druggists sold 'snake oil' - a cure for whatever ailed you. The motor & pestal was also a universal symbol of the drug store. I added the rattle snake as our critter - just for fun.

When I made up the vectors I added a background oval behind the snake to make it stand our a little better.

The first step was to create the flat relief. I made it 0.8" thick

The oval top was then dropped into this relief by using the subtract tool.

The lowest lettering border was then added to the base relief.

Then I added the next layer of lettering border.

The lettering was created using the bevel tool and I used the constant height option so the tops of the letters were all the same no matter how thick the lettering stroke.

With the body of the sign complete it was time to make the mortar and pestal. I first recreated the curves of the bowl.

I then created a mesh using the revolve tool.

 I created the vectors in the same fashion for the mortar and then created a mesh of that piece in the same fashion.

I then created a zero height relief and merged (highest) the meshed to it.


I then squished the bowl vertically to 3.8" using the precision input tools. I made sure the proportional box was unchecked so it only altered the thickness of the piece.

Then I used the slice tool to create two slices that would each fit in a 2" thick piece of Precision Board.

The sign will be routed in three layers but for the purpose of showing how it will look here's a shot of the pieces stacked.

Next up is the final critter sign. Stay tuned...