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, June 11, 2016

New video feature of EnRoute 6

Todays project is a simple dimensional washroom sign. The purpose of posting it here is to show off a new feature of the newest version of EnRoute (6) =. This feature is that each function has a video attached to it. This is a huge plus for those learning the program or simply expanding their capabilities. I was never one to read manuals - especially these days when it is available only onscreen.  It's just too clumsy for my test. But this new feature of EnRoute 6 allows you to simply right click on the function and a video pops up explaining it in detail. How easy is that!

The washroom is marked with both a man and woman symbol which will be raised and have a sandblasted wood background. They are just under 12" in each direction. I started with the vectors created in EnRoute.

I first would create a flat relief. Since the piece of 30 pound Precision Board I was using was one inch thick so I made a relief 0.6" thick.

Now I know how to make a relief but if you didn't you would right click on the create a relief icon and a short movie would pop up.

Then with the new found knowledge it was time to put it into action. I then used that same tool by selecting both the base relief and the figures and raised it 0.4" to pop up the characters on the sign.

Then it was time to add the sandblasted woodgrain to the background. I imported a bitmap from my TEXTURE MAGIC COLLECTION.  It is 300 DPI and measures 11" across - far too much detail to route at the scale it opened. So I enlarged it so the washroom sign fit into one of the bands. I also drew a square vector around the base relief which would effectively reverse the mask of the figures to create the grain around them instead of inside.

Then I right clicked on the bitmap texture icon. This brought up the movie.

Once I was familiar with how to do the operation (by watching the movie) I performed the operation. This finished off the design of the sign making it ready to tool path and send off to the MultiCam.