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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My design tools of choice

It is important that as we design we use tools that allow us to concentrate on the task rather than what we use. I don't know much about computers nor do I wish to. I just want what I use to work without problems. My solution is to use an Apple computer (running with Parallels and Windows for EnRoute).

I also grew up with a pencil in my hand. Attempting to draw with a mouse isn't very natural. When I bought my first computer back in 1998 I also bought a Wacom digital drawing tablet. It was the only way I could use the machine. While some find the act of drawing on a tablet while watching a screen problematic for it it is easy, on account of doing it for so many years. Last year I upgraded to a Wacom Cintique and gave it a good try for more than six months before passing it on to my son. I replaced it with an Intuos Pen Medium.

I have two design drawing stations. At my desk is a 27" IMac with a Wacom Intuos Pro (medium size) drawing pad. It works extremely well for my work. My mouse, keyboard and trackpad are also close at hand. I use them as well depending on the task. The Intuos Pro has a bunch of buttons down one side that can be programmed but I dislike that feature and have them all disabled.

In the house or on the road I use my Macbook Pro with a Intros Pen and Touch drawing tablet. I actually prefer this drawing tablet and would replace my larger one with another like it when the time comes. It is thinner and lighter for packing in my briefcase on my travels. It also is devoid of all those pesky and unwanted buttons.

Drawing with a tablet does take some getting used to. The key is to give your mouse to someone you trust. When you give it to them tell them NOT to give it back to you no matter how much you beg for at least three days. By then you will have gotten used to the tablet. :)