Sheet Metal Redskins Logo (December 2016)

I'm a fan of the Washington Redskins and I have access to a CNC plasma cutter at work, so I did the only logical thing and made a sheet metal Redskins logo!

First I downloaded a high resolution image of the logo off of Wikipedia and imported it into Rhino, which is drafting software I use a lot at work. Then I traced around the features with control point curves to make nice smooth flowing lines.

The logo on the left is straight from what I traced, but I can't just go cut that out. When making sheet metal art, you always have to keep the design like a stencil. Also there's limitations on the cut quality of our plasma cutter, so I simplified the design a bit and made some modifications to make cutting easier. Also I scaled the logo so it is 15" tall.

After I was done with the CAD in Rhino, I exported the file as a .dxf and imported it into SheetCAM to work on the tool paths, cut order, cutting paramaters, start and stop points, etc. After I had everything to my liking, I exported the logo to a G-code file which tells the plasma cutter how to cut it out.

Our plasma cutter uses Mach3 to read the G-code and drive the stepper motors which move the cutting torch. This program tells the torch where to go, how fast to move, and when to turn the torch on and off.

Here's a shot of the plasma cutter just about finishing the logo. I cut it out of 16ga (.060") hot rolled sheet and it took less than five and a half minutes to cut out.

Once the logo was cut out I knocked the dross off the back with a grinder and wire wheel.

I wanted to paint it Redskins burgundy, but I'm pretty terrible when it comes to matching colors. I eventually settled on "Currant Red", but that turned out to be a bit too pink. I mixed in some "Barrel Brown" I had from a different project to darken it up, but I still don't think it's 100% right. I've made three of these logos and each took seven coats until I was happy with the coverage.

And here's the finished product hanging on the wall in my bedroom. I'm still not totally convinced on the color, but I'm generally pretty poor with matching colors anyway. It looks different to me in different kinds of light so I'm just going to go with it.

Here's a video of the CNC plasma cutter in action.