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

Monday, May 1, 2017

New MultiCam sign

Two years ago I drew up a design for a sign for the MultiCam office. The project never proceeded. But last week I received a request to finally produce the sign. 

The logo had changed since the first design and so when I made up the vectors for the sign I incorporated the new logo.

With the design opened in EnRoute I first separated the elements into the three layers. Each layer would be routed from 2" thick 30 lb Precision Board.

The first layer was the face of the sign with three pillow blocks for the bearings. The sign face was made into a two inch high flat relief.

The bearing blocks were then created as separate flat reliefs 1.75" tall.

The lettering and round fasteners were sunk into this relief using the subtract from relief command.

The corner allen head fasteners were sunk into the corners using the same subtract from relief tool.

The bearing shafts were created in a similar manner. I then combined the bearing blocks and sign face.This completed the first relief.

Then it was on to the second layer down. I first created the body of the sign as a 2" thick flat relief.

Then the gears were created as a flat relief 1.75" thick.

The centres of the gears were then dished out using the subtract from relief and the dome tool.

The gear centres were also created as reliefs 2' tall.

All of the pieces were then combined and/or merged highest to form one relief.

The back relief was a little trickier. I first used the dome tool to create a relief. I used the constant height function so I could set the height to 1.5".

I then created a zero height relief which was smaller than the outside diameter of the gear ring. This flat relief was merged highest with the spoked wheel and this procedure cropped the spoked ring. 

The gear ring was then created as a flat relief 1.75" tall.

The smaller gears were created using the methods of the second layer gears. (not shown)

I then created a 2" flat relief. I merged (highest) everything to a zero height relief.

The three files were routed using a 1/4" ball nose bit and a high overlap.

Once routed I fit and glued up the three layers of the sign. I then hand textured the entire sign using a hand held die grinder. This will make the sign much more interesting as we paint it. The sign measures about six feet wide. Stay tuned for the painting process...