Full 3D Dolphin Art Piece

We recently had a great opportunity to work with an artist client of ours.  His piece incorporated a  five foot long three dimensional dolphin. Of course we immediately said yes to the project and jumped right in.

We started by sourcing a 3D Model of the “perfect dolphin” for the job – the client reviewed all the options and once he settled on the final shape we began our work.

In the 3D model we removed the fins which will be cut separately and attached later.


From the 3D model we created a relief for each slice, 2 slices per side. Our material will be 4″ thick 15lb Precision Board HDU. All of the design work  was done directly in Enroute Pro. 119

Now we’re ready to start cutting the HDU on our MultiCAM 3000 CNC. We start with a long 1/2″ Foam Bit on the rough pass to remove the excess material quickly.  Then move to a 3/8″ Ball End Mill for the finish pass.

123 137 152 156Once it’s all glued together we’ll sand the facets off for a smooth surface.

Now its time for the fins!

To cut the fins we decided to cut each fin out of 1 piece of foam. So we cut the first side – then reregistered the foam block on the table and cut the second side – giving us a seamless 3D part.



Now its time to send all of these parts to the paint shop for some steel, finishing and painting.

Fist the steel frame needs to be welded and set inside the dolphin. This will give the piece a lot of strength and we can hide the support bracket that will bolt to the steel stand. photo

photo 1Once the welded frame is complete the dolphin can be screwed and glued together. Then the first coat of primer is sprayed.photo 5

All the holes will get filed and the crew will sand and sand and sand until perfect. The final paint and clear coats applied and the finish will look like glass. Here is the dolphin in all its glory at the gallery in Germany.

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Fizzy Lifting Soda Pop Candy Shop Sign – Part 2

We’re ready for paint.

Its time for Brian to work his magic. He’ll start with the letters then set them aside once complete to work on the sign panels.photo 1Once the letters are primed he lays down the PMS matched color. He’s using a Matthews Paint System.

photo 3 Using an airbrush technique, Brian lowers the pressure on the gun to stipple paint the letters to match the logo design.photo 6Here is the final logo before we attach it to the sign face.photo 7

Fizzy Lifting Soda Pop Candy Shop Sign – Part 1

Some jobs are fun from the beginning to end. My family and I were recently at a great new candy store that opened up in our town – Fizzy Lifting Soda Pop Candy Shop.  The store is as great as the name and if you’re ever in Warwick, NY you have to stop in – they have every candy you can imagine and more.

We had a nice conversation with the owner and wished him luck then he mentioned he was in need of a sign – so we sprung into action.  They have such a great logo, a bottle cap and a fun font. I told him I’d love to take on the project.

So here is where we began – a very nice logo just screaming to be produced as a dimensional sign.


We got started right away using Enroute Pro software to  create the dimensional sign. the overall dimension will be 42″ round. The Sign will be double sided and hang on a nice scroll sign bracket off the front of the building.


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Once the 3D logo was completed. It was time to start cutting. We started by cutting the details of the sign face out of 1″ and 1/2″ White PVC.732731We are using 15lb – 2″ Precision Bard HDU for each sign face with a 1″ layer for our inside frame.   791


Everything is now cut and ready for assembly!




Spring Project for Bohemian Bloom

Sometimes KDF is  just a small part of a project. We could be creating a structure, a graphic or a number of other elements for our clients designs. No matter what is we love to see what our clients final piece!

In this case we created some foam letters for Tana Leigh Gerber at Bohemian Bloom who creates amazing paper flora. Check out her work.

We used 1/2″ Gator Foam cut on our MultiCAM 3000. We cut tabs into the logo and slotted a base for easy setup.photo6


photo3  After…final3



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Bailey’s Project: Day 4

It’s day four and we are making great progress – the sign is REALLY taking shape.  All the precision board cuts are done and the letters are all completed as well. Brian is hard at work fabricating standoffs, welding, sculpting and assembly. Once the sign is put together and the parts sculpted just right he’ll take it all apart to begin priming.

We cut the “smokehouse” letters out of 1/2″ black PVC.  And the larger 3D Cut “Bailey’s” out of 1″ thick 15# Precision Board HDU. 

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Bailey’s Project: Day 3

 Wow! Day 3 flew by with lots of progress on our Bailey’s project.

The shop is buzzing with activity. We have installs going out the door, the MultiCam 3000 CNC is cranking out dimensional pieces, all of the printers are running with jobs ranging from tractor trailer wraps to art prints to murals and signs, and…. the phone is ringing off the hook!!!!  We are busy.

So even with all of this going on we are focused on the Bailey’s deadline, and the pint of Guinness that awaits us at the end of the project.

The sign is hanging in the workshop and Brian has finished all the welding on the grills AND they are all painted. I love these and cant wait to see them attached to the painted sign.







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I’ve been working on the ribbons and face details.  As an added little feature I’ve taken the accent lines of the font and extruded them. Then I cut a pocket into the ribbon to easily register the letters which I’ll cut separately. 001

 Here is a rough 3D rendering of the large top banner in Enroute Pro. Almost ready to cut! 003


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we’re getting close to completing the CNC work – next up will be the letters – then Brian will be in full assembly mode.

– Steve

Bailey’s Project: Day 2

Day two is underway!

We’ve made some great progress in all areas. Brian’s been hard at work welding up the grill.  It looks incredible and will really make this sign feel authentic.IMG_3266

I’ve been programming the face and ribbons and working out the depth of the overall sign. In Enroute I’ve programmed the basic shape of the ribbon with the text – once I’ve cut it out of Precision Board HDU Brian will do some hand sculpting to remove the “machine cut” look.




Bailey’s Project – Day 1: Countdown to St. Paddys Day

If anyone reading this knows us at KDF you probably know that we love a challenge. Usually the challenge comes in the form of a tight schedule or a difficult design or a slew of creative ideas that need to be quickly conceptualized, sifted through and executed on.  This project has all of the above. It has an extremely detailed custom dimensional sign with LED’s, goosenecks, layer after layer of HDU and it all has to be done by St. Paddy’s Day! We’re going to earn our Guinness on this one!

Last year we had the pleasure of working with our friends at Bailey’s Smokehouse in Blauvelt NY (http://www.baileysny.com/). AWESOME FOOD!!!!

We designed, printed and installed a van wrap for them. They’ve returned with a bigger and better request. A logo redesign and a custom sign to go with it.

So we started with what we’d love to see in a cool sign then worked backwards to create the logo.  We incorporated everything that was important to the client like the fonts, color and overall theme then we kicked it up a notch.

Here is the logo…


DAY1: Today we kicked off our build by pulling apart the logo and figuring out how to make it. We’ll have two teams on this project – Mark and I will be taking on the task of designing the sign parts in Enroute Pro then cutting them on our MultiCam 3000 CNC. We’ll be feeding the parts to “team two” for fabrication and painting.



This is the first layer of the sign – we are cutting it out of 2″ thick 15# Precision Board.



We’ve created a middle layer of HDU that we’ve cut a pocket into for out steel hanger.



Brian and Greg will be doing the fabrication. They’ll start by making the grill out of 1″ steel tubing. Once the outside tubing is bent around the form it’s off to the welding shop.

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