RKG 3D Creations uses EnRoute for....Custom 3D Signs

Projects range is size, shape and sense of humor at RKG 3D Creations. Though they primarily create 3D signs they also make a variety of other fun props, home decor items, 3D advent calendars, gifts, awards and more. Occasionally they break away from HDU and venture into wood, aluminum, acrylic, Corian and PVC. HDU is the material of choice though, due to its many positive and long lasting features. 

Highlighted Project

One Particular "smile inducing" project was for the staff at the Picquic Tool Company in Vancouver, BC. ( http://www.picquic.com/ ) Picquic was celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the multi-tool that started it all...the Sixpac Plus Screwdriver. The staff wanted to surprise the current owner (son of the Sixpac Plus inventor) with a life sized cutout of his father standing next to a 6 foot tall replica of the multi-bit screwdriver....which meant Ryan Grealy had to turn this... 

                    ...into this...     

The first daunting task would be how to model this from scratch? Thankfully, Picquic did have a manufacturing model that could be used as a template. But it was a very complex model and it had to be dissected before the process of planning how to cut it could be started.
The 3D DXF model loaded into EnRoute with ease. It was decided, due to its size, that it was best to keep it light so RKG3D opted for blue insulation foam for the majority of the piece. HDU was used for some pieces along with PVC piping. The handle was sliced into 2 inch pieces of blue insulation foam using HDU for the top and bottom portions to add a little strength. That still left plenty of manual carving and filling and shaping to be done, especially in the open areas where the other tool bit heads would show through.

The next challenge was deciding how to tackle the shaft and tool bit. PVC piping was selected to be used on the shaft and routed hexagon shapes for the lower half. For the bit, a number of smaller hexagon shapes were routed, allowing the designer to play a little bit with the scaling of the piece by adding or subtracting layers/pieces.

Each of the tool bit tips (2 flat head, 3 Robertson, 2 Philips) where merged, modeled and sliced in EnRoute and routed in two halves. The goal was to keep this lightweight as people might be handling it, so the design team decided to only do the tops of the tool bits that were going to be in the handle and not create the entire shaft. This would also stop people from trying to remove the main bit and push it up the handle to load another bit.

Then it was time for a test fit to make sure all the pieces fit and looked correct in this much larger scale (note, the shaft is not lowered entirely into the handle as it would have been become stuck in the handle too soon).

Then the carving, filling and shaping started. Ryan Grealy commented that, “In hindsight, I may have done things a little differently as this stage took much longer than anticipated, but then again I'd never build a giant multi-tool screwdriver before.” A number of different fillers were used, ranging from polyfiller to sprayfoam to epoxy sculpt and a lot of sanding and carving.
Once this stage was finished all the pieces were primed with multiple layers of FCS-88 WB primer.
While the primer was setting the designers thought, “What’s the use of a screwdriver without a screw?” So as an added little bonus they created a proportionate screw as a thank-you and congratulations to Picquic. This was also modeled in EnRoute in three pieces. The head with text was engraved, which had to be manually sanded down to create the angle of the counter sink head. The threads were cut in two halves, glued together and the head was cut off so the engraved head could be glued on top.

Painting then took place using Modern Masters metallic silver for the shaft and tool bits and
high gloss, urethane fortified, black Dulux metalclad paint for the handle.
Then all the text on the handle and bit shaft was painted using paint mask vinyl and metallic silver paint. Once dry all the parts were carefully glued together. A photo of Mac, the inventor, was edited, sized and sent to be printed and mounted on foamboard which was then cut out by hand.
In order to display the two pieces it was decided to use some MDF, HDU and yes, googly eyes (for rivets) to create rusty metallic bases. Three round shafts were added to the base for the screwdriver. These shafts slide up inside the bottom of the screwdriver holding it upright while still making it easy to remove and play with. Cue the smiles!


About RKG 3D Creations

RKG 3D Creations creates fully 3D carved signs and other creative carving creations from double-sided hanging signs to giant lollipops to Retro-Rocket Lamps to Custom Name Plaques to address signs, advent calendars, gifts and home décor items Ryan Grealy have been involved in a variety of creative and design fields for over 25 years. All his skills and experience converged in 2010 when he started creating not only 3-D Signs, but award winning 3D signs.

  • Victoria, BC Canada
  • SignMaking & Digital Finishing
  • Woodworking