Signs of the Times - December 2013 - (Page 56)

Little Fish, Big Dreams Dan Sawatzky, proprietor of Imagination Corp. (Chilliwack, BC, Canada), has inspired countless signmakers with his talent and generosity in sharing his tools and techniques. Sawatzky similarly motivated the production stuff at KDF Reprographics (Rockleigh, NJ) to produce a novel, 3-D sculpture for a competition he was staging. According to Stephen Hoey, KDF's president, its rules stipulated inclusion of a sign for the fictitious facility, the Institute for the Study of Mechanical Marine Life, and a mechanical fish. The designer's imagination dictated the rest. 56 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / DECEMBER 2013 / "We decided to feature a fish driving a larger, mechanical fish, and then we decided to create an entire fishtank," Brian Hamilton, KDF's businessdevelopment manager, said. Hoey and Hamilton created a hand-rendered sketch that they scanned and colorized in Photoshop® software. Subsequently transferred to SA Intl.'s EnRoute5®, the design was developed into a 3-D template for a CNCrouted sculptural sign that stands 8.5 ft. tall and weighs approximately 500 lbs. To manage the job's weighty construction, KDF fabricated the upper portion of the tank with 15-lb. PrecisionBoard® HDU. For additional heft, its base comprises 30-lb. HDU. Fabricators constructed the pieces on the shop's MultiCam 3000 CNC router, and created texture on the panels with Abracadabra Signs' MagicSculpt hardening-epoxy compound and Coastal Enterprises' FSC-88 WB surface primer and filler. To assemble the components, KDF MIG-welded a metal framework with a low profile that would make it easier to drill holes for electrical conduit and water pipes. To create a more playful project, they accented the fishtank's surroundings with a periscope, and added an operational control panel and a pull-handle to open the mechnical fish's hatch. The contraption also features a brushed-metal-finish and "gold plate" that was digitally printed on ½-in.-thick acrylic on an Océ Arizona 350 XT flatbed, UV-cure-ink printer. Hoey regards the project as a labor of love: "We spent at least 100 hours on this project, all of which was during evenings and weekends. We were lucky to have a fish expert on our staff, who made sure the aquatic details looked authentic. Win or lose, this project gives us a brag piece for our showroom."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - December 2013

Signs of the Times - December 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - Universal Laser’s ILS9.75 and ILS12.75 platform lasers
Technology Review - CET Color’s 500K X-Press flatbed, UV-cure printer
New Products
The Hands Have It
Digital Print Update
The First Neon Sign in America
The USSC Design Awards
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - December 2013