Last year we decided to attend the IAAPA EXPO (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO) as vendors. We designed a booth and built it from plasma cut steel, Precision Board and sculpted concrete. We built the display as one piece with the logic it would save time and money as we set it up. Today was the test. We got into the show area just after nine o’clock this morning and by ten o’clock were back in the hotel. Setup was that quick! Tomorrow morning we will go in for a few minutes once more to unroll the carpet and check things over one last time. The trade show starts on Tuesday morning.
Today was the first day of the International Sign Association convention/show in Las Vegas. The display we created for MultiCam arrived safe and sound and their people had everything perfectly set up for me. It was with great pleasure I was privileged to show and talk about how we use EnRoute in conjunction with our MultiCam machine to do our dimensional work using Precision Board. It was with great delight I talked to hundreds of wonderful people, greeting old friends and new.
If you are at the show in the next few days please drop by – MultiCam, booth 712!
I’m really looking forward to attending the International Sign Association show in Las Vegas in less than two weeks. I’ll be at the MultiCam booth # 712 on the showroom floor. I look forward to meeting a lot of people and sharing my passion for creating dimensional signs.
Today in preparation for the show I began packing. My personal suitcase has to wait a little while yet but it is time to get the show pieces down south so we built a giant crate for each piece. It took eighteen sheets of plywood to fabricate the sturdy crates and they weighed in at almost 2000 lbs in total when they were all loaded.
See you soon in Las Vegas!
The last piece to get it’s final coats of paint was the TV stand and surround. Like the others it got its light and dark silver coats of paint. The flexible hoses got their bright green metallic. Once everything had dried thoroughly a glaze was liberally brushed on and then wiped off judiciously to make it look perfectly industrial.
As I designed the MultiCam trade show display my goal was to infuse three mechanical pieces with personality. While they are largely machine made and very precise the end goal was to make them look used and full of character.
The three pieces are now complete. The last time we looked at the lectern the pieces were beginning to go together. As always the actual build stage means some changes and tweaks. I made the bottom box a little larger so it could be used for secure storage. This also added a great deal of stability to the lectern. The traditional MultiCam feet add character and branding.
When the pieces went together I decided to move the table top supports onto the gears.
We then added a dirty glaze over the entire piece to create the mechanical, industrial magic we were looking for. One more coat of bright silver paint on the lettering finished things off nicely.
I’ve long believed that if we come up with better ideas as we are building something the plan needs to be adjusted. Sometimes it means a little more time or materials but the whole idea of doing this kind of work is to do the very best we can possibly do.
After the weekend off I came back into the shop to work on the lectern. I assembled the base and set the stand back on. As I did some finishing and fitted the gears I decided they were just too far apart from the base. After looking things over I decided the gears that theoretically adjust the tilt of the table needed to be part of the brackets rather than stand alongside. The solution required parking the gears and then cutting them to fit around the brackets. A little sculpting epoxy blended the seams together nicely.
The upper portion and motor base of the lectern stand was a challenging piece to build. There were a number of ways I could have handled it but I chose to do it with a combination of domed reliefs and one mesh. The piece we were building today was shaped a bit like a funnel with a horizontal tube in the middle and a lightbulb shaped thing on the top. An axle would go through the top part for the big gears and through the horizontal tube (‘motor’) for the smaller gears.
The round bulb was the first and easy relief using the dome tool.
The round horizontal shaft was next. Again I used the dome tool to create this relief. I would cut the rounded ends off later.
Next up was the side down funnel shaped base. The mesh tool was used for this shape. I drew out the vectors and then used the revolve tool to create the mesh.
A square zero height relief was quickly created. Then I selected this relief and the mesh to activate the combine tool. The other oddly shaped zero height relief was also created at the same time. I would use this relief (merge lowest) to clip the ends of the hot dog shaped relief to a square shape.
I then selected this new relief and merged highest with the lightbulb and the hot dog shape.
I then created a round (flat topped) relief which would form the horizontal motor. This too would be merged highest with the rest of the relief.
Since the horizontal motor would have some square tubing inserted down the middle I created a zero height relief for that and modified the base relief by merging lowest with that square shape.
The very complex shape was then finished. Now it was simply a matter of using the slice tool to create layers which would be routed singly and then glued back together after they were cut.
Then I added the middle circles to form the hubs. The gear teeth were combined with the outside circles.
I created three copies of each gear (for a total of four) and flipped two since they had to fit to the back when they were laminated together. As I set up the router I purposely left a thick onion skin (1/16″) for a couple of reasons. First it helped the vacuum table hold the small pieces in place during the routing. Once the pieces were finished being cut from the Precision Board I left the skin in place between the spokes and in the center of the axle hole. We use Coastal Enterprises one part PB Bond240 guess which expands as it cures. This means it oozes out a little. The onion skin kept it from doing this in the center portions. Cleaning up the glue on the outside is easy with the die grinder.
Once the glue had cured the onion skin cleaned up easily with minimal work or rather should have.
But this time I out-smarted myself. Although I had carefully lined up the gear teeth I didn’t hold the gear up to the light to sight the lining up of the spokes. This meant the first pair of big gears was sent to the dumpster. You can bet I took more care the second time around and got it right too.
Next post I’ll be working on the tapered base which was a little more challenging. Stay tuned…
The riveted front motor housing was the first piece to be made it a relief. This was fairly straight forward. The file was built entirely in EnRoute. The inside and outside circle determined the dimensions of raised layer or outer ring. The intersecting lines would be the counterpoints for the rivets.
Creating a flat relief was the first order of business.
Then I used the center shapes around the ‘M’ to drop the center.
The table support bracket was next and again it was fairly simple. I defined the shapes using the vector drawing tools. The rectangle at the bottom was used to segment off the bottom piece. I defined this area using the jigsaw tool.
At this point I changed my mind and decided that the top (big) flat side of the bracket needed to be as deep as the round collar at the bottom. To do this I created a rectangle of appropriate size. I positioned the rectangle vector and used the jigsaw tool to again define the dropped portion (not shown.)
The round hole through the bracket was created by making a zero height relief. This zero height relief would be merged lowest as a last step to create the hole.
I then made one more outline to make a zero height relief. All of the pieces would be merged (highest) to this relief
With the first two reliefs needed for the lectern created it was time to fire up the MultiCam. The pieces were routed from 1.5″ thick 30 lb Precision Board.