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 four

Each name plaque offers a unique challenge and is a great exercise to learn or review a tack in EnRoute. For some, like Sharon's it meant doing things in a particular order. As always I started with the vectors I needed.

To combine the riveted tabs with the rectangle, the quickest and easiest way was to remove the lettering and then use the jigsaw tool to create a new vector. I then deleted the original tabs and border.

I then created a new rectangle using an offset of the outside vector. This would be used to create the domed inside portion of the plaque. The lettering was then brought back in and positioned.

 I then created a flat relief using the outside vector.

This relief was then modified using the tabbed rectangle to sink the middle portion. I then Used the second inside rectangle (without the tabs) to create a new dome shaped relief. I applied a wiggly line bitmap to this area.

After checking and positioning the center portion in the front view I then merged highest with the base relief.

Then I used the dome tool once more to create the rivets on the tabs.


Then I created the lettering outline relief and  positioned it vertically in the front view using the up arrows.


I could then merge highest this relief with the base relief.

Lastly I created the lettering by modifying the base relief one last time using the lettering vectors.

This review showed how it is necessary to create separate reliefs and then merge because of the unusual shape of the border with would otherwise cause distortions to the surface.