Gary Fails of the excellent City Theatrical has long been a strong supporter of the program where I teach: City Tech. He recently supplied us with a great wireless dimming system for a production (write up here), and earlier this month, he had some custom plates manufactured for us, based on the draftings of a graduating student, Greg Romano. The plates will be patch panels for a number of our permanent tie lines throughout our facility for audio, Cat 5, and other signals, and will be used for the Gravesend Inn and other productions.
We started with an AutoCAD drawing of each of the plates:
Greg then exported a DXF file out for City Theatrical's sheet metal program. We went out to see the plates punched out and painted. Here's Head of Manufacturing Scott Tiede explaining the process to Greg:
The plate information was then sent out over the network to the CNC punch press by engineer Naum Bronz:
The completed plates are exactly as drawn:
The plates then go into a washer that is the start of the powder coating paint process.
The powder coating process, from wash to dry paint, takes only about 45 minutes, so these plates made it from raw material into finished product in less than an hour (plus dozens of hours of design and engineering work, of course).
Here's a little video of one of the plates getting punched, and wending its way into the powder coating line.
Thanks again to Gary Fails, Andrew Nikel, Scott Tiede, and Naum Bronz of City Theatrical for all their help!
More photos here.