Laser at work: Cutting flat acrylic graphics
By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Besides being capable of doing very detailed engraving on almost any surface, lasers can be used to cut graphics from several substrates. For the sign shop, the ability to cut letters from flat acrylic can be a major time saver, especially when used in conjunction with other 3D sign production techniques.
“I added the laser a few months ago because I wanted to cut down on our labor time,” says Bob Stephens, Skywatch Signs, Zephyrhills, Florida. “We do a lot of 3D signs. In the past, we often cut letters out of PVC on the router. That meant the edges had to be hand sanded to clean up the tool marks, then painted. That can take a lot of time, especially when there is a lot of secondary copy on a sign.
“Now we cut the letters or graphics from 3/16- and ¼-in. acrylic with the laser. For smaller letters, I put a piece of high-bond double-sided tape completely over the back, using 6-in.-wide foam tape, before cutting. Once they’re cut, they’re ready to peel off the backing and mount—no sanding, no painting, and the edges are beautiful. They look good forever, and we save a lot of production time.”