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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Creating the Flutterbye sign

Like all of our signs the Flutterbye sign began with an idea and a sketch. At this point I'm not concerned very much about scale or details. The concept drawing helps me work out how we will build the project and also helps the customer visualize what they are getting. And as always the concept drawing is a way to up sell the project. Once the customer falls in love with the concept we can get down to brass tacks.

With the project and budget approved and the deposit in hand it is time to get to work. I used the original sketch as a starting point to trace out the vectors. The customer also needed to use this artwork in the creation of the rule signs and advertising for the project. These vectors were imported into EnRoute to create the routing files.

There were to be three layers to the sign. The front layer would have raised dome lettering. The middle layer would be a simple cutout with a slot machined into the piece to accommodate the structural steel support. The back piece was a simple flat cutout.

To build the file I first created a flat relief.

Then I modified this relief by adding the domed lettering.

As simple as that the sign was ready to be tool pathed and sent to the MultiCam.

We cut the sign from 30 lb Precision Board. It took about an hour and a half to cut. All three pieces were cut from 1.5" thick board.