Using EnRoute Software’s “Rapid Texture” on Signage

Are you up against the clock and need to deliver a quality sign on time and within budget?  Consider using the Rapid Texture process available with EnRoute Software.  Jim Dawson with Synergy Sign and Graphics recently applied this process to some 30 lb. Precision Board HDU to create an entrance sign for The Oaks Apartment Homes.  Rapid Texture allowed him to create a 3D texture in 2D time and deliver an amazing looking Precision Board HDU sign to his client.


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Precision Board is an excellent signage substrate because it is easy to work with, gentle on the environment and durable.

“We used PBLT-30 because we knew we wanted the edges to be sharp.”  Jim added, “With the location of the sign at ground level and at the entryway to an apartment complex, we knew there would be less chance of damage using the higher density Precision Board.”

Dawson used the Rapid Texture process to carve the HDU sign.  It allowed him to create 3D textured surfaces in a fraction of the time it takes to create traditional textured surfaces. No bitmaps or 3D surfaces are required.  Simply select the contour on which the texture will be based, adjust a few parameters and produce a limitless selection of amazing surfaces using larger tools with bigger offsets.

“The process takes into account the diameter of the bit you’re using and generates 2.5D geometry,” says Dawson. “It’s faster because it’s not generating as many lines as a typical 3d toolpath and is way faster than traditional geometry.”

Jim tells us that a full 3D carve on a 4′ x 8′ sheet of Precision Board normally takes 12-14 hours for the background and another 2-3 for the design elements.

“We carved the background in an hour and 15 minutes, with another 90 minutes to two hours for the letters and leaf.” He added, “Using Rapid Texture we were able to reduce what should have been 30 hours of project time down to about five.”

Jim says that the process has been around for about four or five years, but he hasn’t seen it used for signage a lot.  “I’ve seen it used more for architectural purposes, like those lit up hotel walls you see sometimes.  This was the first time we used it on a sign.”   He added, “there were some budget concerns on the job, so we wanted to make sure it was done on time and within budget without sacrificing quality.”

Dawson has a pro tip for people considering trying out Rapid Texture.  “The big thing in Enroute 6 is that you can right-click on the buttons and it will give you tutorial videos, including Rapid Texture. You can get it to do just about anything.”

You can change up your bit size depending on the size of your sign.  Jim says that Rapid Texture generates some really great backgrounds on larger signs.  “The beauty of it is that you can carve some nice intricate textures that take bigger bits and fewer passes on a larger sign. Similarly, a smaller sign might use smaller bits and more passes.”

Check out this overview of Rapid Texture on the EnRoute YouTube channel.  You can also find more information on the EnRoute website.

We think that Jim Dawson and his team do some really excellent work. Synergy Sign & Graphics has a highly experienced staff whose backgrounds include graphic design, marketing, trade-show design, print media, branding, point of purchase design, fulfillment, and more. Check out their website or give them a call at (330) 878-7646 to see about your next project!

Precision Board comes in 8 sheet sizes all the way up to 5′ x 10′ and thicknesses up to 24″, in any increment.  We also offer custom bonded blocks.  Request a free sample, get a quote or give us a call.  We’d love to hear from you!

Our CNC Machine Finally Arrived…

Xpressive graphiX has created another stunning sign and has been chosen to be “Today’s Guest Blogger.” Tony Rose, Business Partner & Creative Director, with Xpressive graphiX writes the following

Lock 9 Pizza a new business located in Duncan Falls, Ohio, came to us because they had seen several signs of ours around town. In particular, The Olde Falls Inn, that was featured on Coastal Enterprises blog a few years ago and was a winner in the Signs of the Times Magazine 2014 contest last year.

Up until this sign, all of our 3D projects had been hand made, and only certain parts were outsourced to be machined. We finally built up enough 3D business to have a Multicam 1000 CNC installed, and this sign is the very first project we machined with it. In fact, to meet the deadline, we jumped in with both feet and started machining the parts for this sign the first day our machine was installed! Nothing like the rush of throwing a $400 sheet of material onto a machine we had never used!

Typically we hand carve Precision Board Plus which gives us a 3-4 week turnaround time. But, thanks to our new CNC, it only took 7-days (without working overtime)!  What a drastic difference it has made!

It worked flawlessly, considering I had never used Multicam or EnRoute Software before this project. I quickly understood the basics of EnRoute and by following the steps on Dan Sawatzy’s Blog I also learned other 3D techniques.


This sign measures 12” x 4’ x 8’ and is made from 2” PBLT-18 to get that awesome 3D look. We then glued SIX different sizes and shaped layers onto a steel internal frame using PB Bond 240 adhesive and finished it off with locally sourced PPG exterior latex paints and glazes, which we mixed ourselves.


We have been using Precision Board Plus for the past 3 years and love how easy it is to work with. For this project in particular, we were blown away on how effortlessly it machined along with the quality of the results and the effects Precision Board can achieve.

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Most importantly our customer was very impressed with the detail and quality of the sign! She loved the results so much that additional Precision Board signs were requested, instead of the traditional aluminum and vinyl for their parking and directional signs.

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Request your free sample today, by simply clicking here!

Or for more information call us at 800-845-0745 and one of our Sales Reps will be happy to assist you.


ISA is almost here…

We all know that Dan Sawatzky is a talented man that loves his Multicam CNC, Enroute software and Precision Board Plus PBLT-30.

But this time, he took a different approach to a sculpture he made for our booth which will be displayed at the ISA show April 9th, 10th and 11th.


Dan told us that he dug around in his Precision Board “stash” and found a solid piece of PBLT-40 (what… not PBLT-30?!) “It begged to be a Tiki. So I obliged.” He not only used a different density than what he favors, but he also carved this 5″ x 5″ x 22″ sculpture by hand. Watch it come to life on Dan’s blog.

Kellie's tiki

When visiting ISA 2015 next month, stop by and see us at booth #5971.

Want to see Dan? He’ll be at booth # 712 with Multicam. Stay for a while to watch his presentation as PBLT-30 is happily being routed.

Don’t forget your free ISA passes!