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, May 11, 2017

Marvelous Machine

The International Sign Association EXPO is to be held in Orlando during the third week of March next year. That means we only have ten and a half months until the Sign Invitational 2018. It is time to get busy once more as I am determined to have my entry ready early this time and not be rushed in any way.

So today I began designing the cutting files for my version of the 'MARVELOUS MACHINE'. I previously posted the quick sketch I had done while still at this year's event. It will serve as my blueprint. There will of course be many changes along the way as I do the final design as I build the piece.

It is no secret that I love steam driven machines and so the machine I choose to model will be such a contraption. With the design constrained by the contest rules to two feet wide by two feet deep and six feet tall it had to be a vertical engine.

I started with the base of course.It measures 24" square. It will have three layers of plasma cut steel. It of course will provide a way to fasten to the shipping pallet and also will serve as a visual feature. It will be plenty strong and be bolted together with no less than 24 half inch bolts.

From the base upwards things will get a whole lot more interesting. The first large component will be the boiler. I had a lot of fun designing all of the components in EnRoute. The design process involved taking careful measurements of known components of the pipes I would start off with and then designing the components which would fit to them. All of these pieces were to be cut from steel plate on our MultiCam Plasma cutter. There are many more pieces to come of course along with many routed pieces as well.

Tomorrow, the real fun begins as we start in on the assembly. Stay tuned...