Synergy Sign & Graphics uses EnRoute for…Custom 3D Signs
EnRoute is the design and production hub for Synergy Signs and has become the “glue” in their shop. Most designs at Synergy are drawn in Illustrator with custom bitmap textures created in Photoshop. These files are then brought into EnRoute and used to create 3D designs by utilizing EnRoute’s relief creation and editing tools.
The Synergy team reported that the relief editing functions in EnRoute has completely changed the way they design their signs. Prismatic letters are especially easy now. EnRoute is also used for panel processing with their Multicam Router and vision system. Their workflow with their flatbed printer and router works flawlessly thanks to the programming power in EnRoute. Allowing a greater focus on 3D carved signs, EnRoute has fundamentally changed their business with its ability to create the reliefs and textures for these signs
The team at Synergy Sign & Graphics doesn’t do things half way. When they started a project to make a sign for Teal Insurance, they knew right away that it would be a beautifully intricate work of art. They also knew that they would be able to create it using EnRoute. Jim Dawson, Creative Director at Synergy, commented that “EnRoute is by far the easiest CAM software I have ever used in my 12 years of running CNC machines. In addition to being the easiest, it’s also way more advanced than many of the programs I have used.”
Jim had a clear idea for the sign in his head and drew up this proof of what he envisioned for the Teal sign.
Jim had lots of experience with EnRoute so the next step was to sit down to the computer and start designing. EnRoute easily generates complex 3D reliefs, which you can see in the following pictures. The picture on the right shows a view of the thousands of toolpaths that it takes to carve a 3D sign. Many varying depths were used in order to create a very visually striking sign.
Once the design was finalized on the computer, a blank was loaded onto the Multicam router and the routing process began. Here we have pictures of the routing process and the finished carving.
After the sign had been carved, the team at Synergy began working on the mount that the sign would hang on. They considered this to be an important part of the sign as well. Dawson remarked, “Gone are the days of boring straight steel mounts. I’m of the opinion that there is a lot of visual pollution in the sign industry. If you can’t make the whole sign interesting, why bother?”
True to the initial proof, the mount was created to look like a tree with the sign hanging from its branch. The metal framework was welded and then covered with wiring to hold the fiberglass-reinforced concrete that would follow.
The design team then turned their attention back to the Teal sign. The sign was primed and then covered in three coats of 30 year exterior grade latex paint. Below are pictures of the process during and after.
Once the three base coats were dry, the team then applied three more layers of glaze to the sign. The tree was given a similar treatment.
After the layers of glaze dried, some final touches of paint were added by hand. The tree was installed and the finished sign was hung.
The team at Synergy took a step back to admire the work of art that they had created.