Using EnRoute to create working files and presentation art

We use EnRoute in all kinds of ways to help us in our work. In doing so we create accurate scale renderings for presentations and at the same time create the vectors we need for our plasma cutting and CNC routing. This saves a whole to of time at the design stage of our projects.

Currently we have a project going through the design stage that is a good example. It will be a still for a pub. We travelled to our customers location (4000 miles distant) and while there took measurements and did some sketching of our ideas. This is the very quick sketch for the still which I did on location. The still will fit into a room that is fourteen and a half feet tall. It needs to be built in sections so it will fit around an existing post. A ‘standing table’ will go around it. The customer requested we keep it to around four feet in diameter to preserve valuable floor space. The top can extend outside of that measurement as needed.

Once I was back in my studio I set to work. I imported the drawing into EnRoute and used it as reference as I worked. The tall rectangle is 6’8″ tall (same height at a door) to keep the headroom safe. I worked up the vectors, designing the bulk of the vectors we will eventually need to cut the steel. Once I was done I saved the drawing for future reference and also grabbed a screen capture.

I then imported the screen captured drawing into PhotoShop and traced over this to create the rendering which we would present to our clients. The whole process only took a couple of hours and in the process we created a great presentation piece and also are well on the way to having the necessary vectors to build the project.

Published with permission from Source.

The key to merging

Today I spent my time teaching a relative newcomer to EnRoute the ins and outs of merging reliefs. Like many he found the concept of merging reliefs somewhat hard to grasp. There are four options but today I will deal with two – merge highest and merge lowest. After some simple exercises and lots of trial and error it was time for a real file – a KEY. It would employ both merge highest and merge lowest as well as some other tasks. The file was in fact harder than it looked at first glance. While certain pieces could have been done with sweep to rails I was trying to keep things simple… or at least as simple as possible for this exercise. The key we were modeling had two key ways cut into it at different depth. Both were cut with a circular grinding wheel and so were rounded upwards at the big end of the key. That was the difficult part.
The vectors were relatively easy – all done in EnRoute.
The first relief I created was for the key ways. I would model the key at two inches thick and thin it down later. Since I wanted the key way to go half way into the key it needed to be one inch deep and ramp up at the end. By using the scale to height on the rounded relief I could control this. Take note I used the subtract from relief command to make it go down.
To create the flat portions of the key I created two rectangles which would be used to create flat reliefs two inches high (The same height as the key)
In this screen shot (front view) you can see the thin grey line is the top of the flat reliefs while the bowl we created is well below. I would use the up key to nudge it upwards until it was even with the two inch high flat reliefs.
Then it was time to use the MERGE HIGHEST command to merge the flat reliefs to the key way bowl.
The result (after I deleted the no longer needed rectangle reliefs) looked like this. 
Then it was time to create the key relief. This was done as a two inch high flat relief in the shape of a key.
To match the sample I modified the key relief with three grooves across the head using the bevel tool and the subtract from relief command.
Then it was time to use the MERGE LOWEST command. I would be modifying the key relief by using the keyway bowl with the two inch high vectors (previously merged highest to it.)
 Now we had a good looking key.
The last step was to use the narrow keyway profile to modify the key shaped relief. I positioned the relief correctly then stretched the modifying relief down a bit. I again used the MERGE LOWEST COMMAND to modify the key shaped relief.
The result was a good looking key. But we were not finished yet.
Since I had modeled the key at two inches think it didn’t look at all proper. 
In the front view I simply grabbed a top node and shrunk it down to size. PRESTO – perfect key.
So there you have it… the key to learning MERGE HIGHEST and MERGE LOWEST.  Give it a whirl and I hope this helps!

Published with permission from Source.