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

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Designing a bracket

After I mounted the dynamo to the marvellous machine it had a little shake which gave me some pause. Because the piece is to travel many thousands of miles in the back of a transport truck I became worried about a failure. The solution was to create another bracket which attached to the top portion. As I looked at the space it became apparent that if I added a bracket here it would interfere with the next gear I was going to add.

I decided to offset the gear to the left and use the same bracket to hold it in place. I hand held the gear in position and then took some quick measurements.

Then I opened EnRoute and began to create some scaled vector shapes. The simple functions of drawing in EnRoute allowed me the freedom to design the shapes separately and then combine them later. The circle at the top represents the smoke stack to which I would be welding the bracket. We would use this to trim the bracket to shape in order for it to fit perfectly around the stack. The box was used to determine scale and would also be used to trim the final shape..

Once I had the shapes I needed I combined them.

I then used the jigsaw tool to trim it to shape on three sides.

As I checked the final shape I noticed there was one sharp point in the curve (bottom left) I knew this would be there. The solution to fix it was simple.

I used the point edit to remove one vector node and the curve became perfect.

With that small correction the file was ready to be exported as a DXF and then sent off to the MultiCam plasma cutter.