Karltinsly: The first sign I did actually got put out right before we had a quick freeze, inches of snow, and then by the next weekend it was 70 degrees and all the snow was gone. It held up good during that – and that’s some pretty extreme weather swings for it to have soon after being put into use. The paint is Behr Hi-Gloss Exterior Enamel and it hardens to a thick shell so that probably helps too.
Curt: To go a bit off topic, when I first got my 3D printer I struggled with the free program that came with the printer, I eventually flashed Repetier onto it, and decided to go ahead and buy Simplify3D. Now, $150 sounded crazy to me, but I took that leap. I discovered – good software makes a huge difference. I’ve never regretted spending that money. I approached the CNC in the same way – good software makes the difference. I really recommend Aspire’s Vcarve line of software (Desktop, not Pro – Pro lets you do larger than 24″x24″). They have a free trial, and I’ll attach the post processor file I use (I do things like issue a M84 S0 to make it so that when it finishes it doesn’t turn the motors off during idle – if I want to change the tool and run another toolpath I don’t want it losing any positional accuracy) It’s pretty easy too. Pockets and Vcarved text in 2D designs are so much easier to do than 3D design IMO – I’m definitely being more creative with my CNC than I’ve ever been able to achieve with my 3D printer.
Vicious1: They actually needed 5 now, and 5 later, so that’s just some of the ones I made – yes.
Bryan: I’m normally a big fan of cheap bits, but for this particular project I went for some higher end bits – I used a Whiteside RU2100 here (Vicious1, feel free to add your Amazon affiliate thing to the link – I don’t have one, and Amazon might as well pay somebody if people use the link). 1/4 inch with 1 inch cutting length – very important for cutting the final sign out because when it’s cutting 1 inch deep into Extira the cut Extira will get compacted into the cut, and eventually cause your machine to get jerked out of position if using a small bit. The dust is very thick and heavy with Extira so a 5HP vacuum can’t suck the dust out of a 1/8 inch cutting path, the wider 1/4 inch cut lets you vacuum it out much better. The text was done with a Whiteside 1540 V-Groove 60-Degree 1/4-Inch bit here.