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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mechanical wonder

I wonder how we ever managed without our MultiCam CNC machines in the past. We use them a lot these days and the mechanical wonders allow us to do things we previously could never have achieved.

In the last couple of days I've been working on the flutterbye - a mechanical bug for the ride sign. The customer specified that the metal components be powder coated. This meant the various assemblies needed to disassemble easily for the coating. The bug also needed to come off of the branch for shipping as it made the feature too high.

This is where the software and CNC come in handy. I designed the parts in EnRoute and then sent them off to the MultiCam for cutting. The feet are made from sections of pipe and plasma cut pieces. These were welded together as sub assemblies, ground up nice and then welded into larger assemblies. The bottom section will be welded into the tree branch and then sculpted up to. This will allow the feet to easily bolt on. We'll sculpt the bug body around the square tubing. I have yet to weld up the pencil rod frame for that.

Today it was time to design, cut and mount the wings. As we test fit Peter came up with the idea of mounting faux hydraulic cylinders to the top of the wings. it would add to the mechanical look and they would also act as additional braces, making the assembly far stronger in the process. None of this would have been possible without the CNC machines!