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, March 3, 2017

Sculpted detail

We love our MultiCam CNC plasma cutter and router without a doubt but we believe the true magic happens when we combine the work we do on the machines with hand work as well. If we can make the pieces blend in such a fashion that no one can tell how it was produced then that is the most magic of all!

All of the pieces were assembled in the last few days. We spent a full day at the laborious task of hand-tying on the galvanized lath. It has to be done just right to make the next step work properly. That is to trowel on a thick coat of fibreglass reinforced concrete. As it begins to set we carve in the detail by hand. We have to work quickly while paying attention to every detail. Once the concrete sets there is no going back to fix things.

The operator's booth/sign feature is immense and tricky to get a picture of against the shop lights. Today we sculpted about 3/4 of the feature surface, leaving only the heavy bark areas to do on Monday.

The Flutterbye now perches perfectly on the branch. With the concrete completed in this area he and the leaves will be sent off to the powder coaters on Monday.

The show side of the feature is beside where guests will line up for the ride. We spent extra time sculpting in the superb detail of the woodgrain in this area.

There is plenty of room for the operator and controls inside. The measurements of this space was set by the manufacturer of the ride.

Here's a closeup of a sculpted knot. It's hard to believe it is concrete! Paint will make it look even better!