It Begins with a Drawing

Blue Ribbon.jpeg

After deciding upon a size and location for the carved Blue Ribbon school sign we set about designing the sign in 3d to the school’s specifications using software by Vectric. Each letter number and shape is first created as a vector or line drawing. Those simple shapes are then assigned complex 3d shapes and then assigned a distance away from the back of the drawing. Shapes can further be edited with 3d drawing tools and textures can be added, like the subtle leathery texture we added behind the lettering. The school’s superintendent approved the drawing but asked us to remove the s from the end of schools. With that, we needed to assign assign toolpaths to the drawing which instruct our CNC router which is basically a carving robot how to cut away the material to create our sign. For this sign we chose to carve the image out of High Density Urethane foam or HDU. This material allows us to carve in very high detail and will never split, warp, crack or rot like wood. To achieve this high level of detail, we will be carving this with an 1/8” ball nosed router bit which is almost like carving something with a needle. According to my computer it will take upwards of 20hrs for my machine to complete