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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Combining methods and materials

Using EnRoute and a MultiCam we can do amazing things without a doubt. I know lots of people who can use other programs to build amazing sculptures virtually and then use the router to make the final piece. I'm just not that good with those advance programs or more correctly I am better at doing it for real with my hands. The fastest way to do those kinds of projects for me is the old fashioned way. I let the router do the hard stuff and then have fun with the rest.

As I showed in the last post on this sign it was routed in both 3D (for the faces) and as 2D cutouts for the center sections. A little work with a die grinder made the sign ready for the hand sculpting stage.

I built up the surfaces with crumpled up tin foil and a thin layer of Abracadabra Sculpting epoxy over. The detail was added to and sculpted into this last layer. 

The first day I only got partway through the sculpt but with sculpting epoxy it's easy to continue the sculpt where I left off the next day.

The end result is a sign that is over the top without a doubt. Combining what EnRoute and the MultiCam can easily and quickly do with what I can easily do makes it so. The materials used also follow this same approach. Thirty pound Precision Board is the best possible material for the bulk of the sign. A welded steel frame laminated inside makes it bullet proof and will provide a long lasting and safe install. The sculpted epoxy makes for a well detailed and strong figure.

Works for me.