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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another name plaque

With the arrival of a guest in our shop tomorrow it was time to create a name plaque. Julio wants to learn how we do our finishing and there's no better way than doing it hands on! In order to demonstrate our techniques we needed a second name plaque as well, so Grant (my soon to be son-in-law) is getting a name plaque as well. Both plaques are to be identical save for the name.

I started by building the vectors for the plaque components

I then selected the plaque outline and created a flat relief. 0.45" tall.

I then imported a sandblasted woodgrain bitmap which I sized to fit on the board. I applied it with a value of 0.2" tall.

The metal bands were next, created as flat reliefs.

I imported a second bitmap to add some texture to this band. I input a value of 0.1" for this procedure.

Then I modified these two reliefs by using the add to tool. This created the flat washers.

The bolt heads were next and I used a value of 0.3" tall.

I then selected the metal band reliefs and the board relief and combined them into one relief.

The lettering outlines were next, also created as individual reliefs. Note I did both names at once to save time.

The lettering outline reliefs were then modified by adding the lettering - also a flat relief.

I then duplicated the wood relief and positioned the second name appropriately onto it. The last step was join the letters by merging highest with the wood plaque base relief. The two plaques were done separately.

I could then tool path the two plaques and send them to the router. They were routed from a piece of 1.5" thick 30 lb Precision Board.