Recently in Vector Cuts Category


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SFDS is a Fabrication and Design shop located in Brooklyn, NY. They create props, furniture and scenery for a variety of clients and use the CNC router as a major tool in their shop. Below are just a few examples of some of the exciting work being created.



This piece was part of FriendsWithYou's Rainbow City installation from 2011 in NY.04.jpeg



One of the SFDS employees, Kevin Kleber, has a fantastic Tumblr site called cnckevin. It has many great images of the projects he is working on there.

Digital Fabrication for the Arts

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Former University of Minnesota Professor Ali Momeni (currently a Professor at Carnegie Mellon) is teaching a class at CMU titled Digital Fabrication for the Arts. Students are using Rhino/Rhino CAM along with a lasercutter and 2.5 axis router to create a wide array of work.

See examples below, visit their blog for links, references and more work examples.


The Big Box Menagerie

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The Big Box Menagerie was a project made by Dept. of Art Router Tech Robin Schwartzman as part of Sideshow Soo, hosted by SooVac at the Pat's Tap Block Party in August 2012.


The initial digital drawing was done using Adobe Illustrator. The vector lines of both the box and animals were then imported into EnRoute4 as .eps files, where she created dimensional reliefs in the wheels, detailing and banner. Everything was toolpathed in EnRoute and cut on the Forest Scientific here in the Dept. of Art.


The pieces were painted and assembled together to create the final box. Participants could crawl into it and pose with their favorite animal for a photo.


The Cutting Room

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The Cutting Room, a commercial routing shop in the UK, is doing a number of large scale, beautiful projects. They make anything from doors and panels to lettering and signs to desks and benches.


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The Department of Art CNC Router Technician Robin Schwartzman completed her giant letter project THINK AND WONDER, WONDER AND THINK for Northern Spark this past June. Each letter was 8' tall by varying widths. They were designed in EnRoute and cut in pieces out of 1/2" MDF using a ShopBot Buddy with a 4' x 8' bed and 1/2" end mill bit. The router belongs to the shops of American Woodworker Magazine, where editor Randy Johnson was very generous in volunteering his time and knowledge to help make this project happen.
Here you can see the daytime view. Each letter was painted red with exterior latex paint.

This is a nighttime view of the word WONDER from the Guthrie Theater. Photo courtesy of Mill City Times.
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And here is a panorama shot focusing on THINK taken during the festival.

CNC Panel Joinery

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Some fantastic examples of CNC panel joinery from the great people of Make blog! See link for more info and downloadable templates.

Letters of Every Size

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Department of Art CNC Router Technician Robin Schwartzman is working on a large commission piece for this year's Northern Spark festival in Minneapolis. Her piece, titled THINK AND WONDER, WONDER AND THINK will span this phrase in the form of 8' tall illuminated letters between the arch spans on both sides of the Stone Arch pedestrian bridge. The letters will be cut out of 1/2" MDF using the CNC Router. Robin is using EnRoute4 to enlarge the Stag Sans text letters to the correct dimensions, then using the array tool to create appropriately placed and sized holes for each LED light. Each letter will be cut in half using a ShopBot with a 4' x 8' bed, then each half will be hinged together to create the whole. Here you can see her first prototype, the letter "R."
R3.JPG  IMG_0386.JPG To raise extra funds to create this large public installation, Robin created a Kickstarter campaign which was successfully funded. Her rewards include various hand painted letters in smaller sizes (5"-12"), also all cut using the CNC router. IMG_2254.JPG IMG_2256.JPG

Sauna Shanty

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Department of Art Graduate student Daniel Dean, along with Emily Stover, Molly Reichert, John Moore and John Kim came together to create the Tono Sauna, part of the 2012 Art Shanty Projects on Medecine Lake in Plymouth, MN.

Their shanty was built from a 1966 Avion Trailer which houses parametrically designed interior spaces that form multiple organic and body-friendly surfaces on which people can rest and warm themselves.

Supports for the benches were designed in Rhino with the Grasshopper plugin and were cut using the Department's CNC Router. Strips of cedar were bent and nailed into notches on the supports to create these amazingly comfortable and beautiful sauna benches.


Check out the full Tono Sauna Shanty blog, Actually, I've been Pioneering New Enthusiasms.

Vector Cuts

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IMG_0229.jpgThe router is a great tool for cutting out solid shapes of material. This is also known as a vector cut, because the shape is designed within the program with what is called a vector graphic. A vector graphic uses a system of points, lines, curves, shapes and polygons which are based on mathematical equations to represent images in computer graphics. Unlike pixellated images, vector graphics can be scaled up or down to any size without becoming blurry or distorted.

The cut can be as simple as a circle or as complicated as the outline of a text or a country. It can involved multiple shapes next to, inside or outside of each other. Shapes can also include strategically place drill holes. Cutting out vector shapes can also be combined with dimensional cuts.