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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Workshop nameplates 2014 - Part five

Jim's nameplate was pretty straightforward save for one detail. I wanted the background texture to poke through the lettering border and into the lettering. I also wanted it to perfectly match what was around. Once again how and the order we do things in was the key.

As always I started with the vectors.

I first created a shallow domed relief.

I then added the texture of a log end (with splits) using one of my bitmap textures.

Then I created a flat relief using the lettering border. Note I also drew another circle vector around the original log end relief.

This new vector circle was used to modify the lettering border relief using the dome tool at the same angle as the original relief.

 I then went to the front view to position it up vertically so it stuck up above the texture of the log end grain.

 I then modified the original log end (add to command) using the lettering vectors. By adding to the original relief the end grain of the log was pushed upwards within the lettering vectors. This pushed the lettering through the slightly domed lettering border relief.

From the top it looked finished but I wasn't quite done.

We had to merge the lettering border with the base relief using the MERGE HIGHEST command.

This meant the file was now ready for tool pathing and sending off to the MultiCam.

Each time we do something different we have to think hard about the order of creating and merging the parts together to achieve the effects we want. This knowledge is best gained by experimenting and with each result checking to make sure it is what you want. If something unexpected happens go back and change something. Also take note for the technique you used to get the wrong result may be just what you need the next time.