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, July 31, 2014

Final details

We've created more than 200 routing files for the trim on the house and routed thousands of pieces over the last two years. In the last three weeks we've been working hard to finish the outside and this includes creating even more routing files and then routing a bunch more pieces. Thankfully there aren't many areas left to do.

The trim around the front and patio doors was routed yesterday and assembled today. This afternoon I created the routing files for the decorative bands around the patio posts. I thought them worth posting as they involve three different procedures that are a teeny bit tricky.

The decorative bands are 8 inches wide and are comprised of four pieces that will be motored to fit. As usual I started with some vector files created in EnRoute.

 I then created a fat relief using the large rectangle.

Next I created a thinner flat relief of the three crews that would be embossed on the final piece.

I then added domed hearts to the centre panel.

I then added some woodgrain to the rectangular shape using one of the bitmaps from my TEXTURE MAGIC COLLECTION. This shot shows how I stretched out the bitmap to allow the rectangle to fit into the section of woodgrain I liked.

I used a value of 0.15 inches for the woodgrain.

I then merged using the REPLACE function. First I selected the relief I wanted to modify.

Then =, following the prompts I selected the areas I wanted to merge.

 As quick as that the panel was ready to tool path. But I needed eight panels so I duplicated them and arranged them to fit onto the piece of 30 lb Precision Board I would route them from. Then I used a 3/8" ball nose bit for the rough pass with a 50% overlap. The final pass was done using a 1/8" ball noise bit and an 80% overlap.

Here's a shot of the pieces on the MultiCam.

Tomorrow the completed pieces will be mitred and then painted before they are installed on the house. I'll post a picture of the completed door and the posts as well.