This 7-by-11-ft. double-faced sign was CNC milled using Vectric Aspire 3D software from multiple sheets of HDU board with epoxied seams. It was fastened to an aluminum cabinet designed to mount between stone pillars. Total thickness was 2 ft. All sign components were painted with acrylics and Ronan Aqua Leaf metallics []. It was crated and picked up by the client, who transported it back to Pennsylvania. Roger Cox, House of Signs, Frisco, Colorado
This 55-by-65-in. single-faced sign is fabricated from HDU board in multiple layers with a total thickness of 10-in. It was CNC milled then hand-painted with acrylics and Ronan metallics. The starfish are sculpted from sculpting epoxy. It’s one of three signs shipped to Queensland, Australia, for the client. Roger Cox, House of Signs, Frisco, Colorado
Router-cut HDU lettering mounted on a Dibond ACM background panel using standoffs, covering the old logo on the limestone slab. Bob Fiddler, Johnny’s Signs, Bedford, Indiana
CNC-cut 3-by-2-ft. double-faced Extira Treated Exterior panel [] by Sandy Baird, Windwalker Signs, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. Sandy uses an AXYZ CNC router and Vectric Aspire software.
The Wooly Fleece lettering and the scissors are router-cut aluminum composite material [ACM]. Sewing Trade was hand painted. Phil Johns, Signs of Excellence, Aitkenvale, Queensland, Australia
Router-cut urethane board distressed by hand for aged effect. Phil Johns, Signs of Excellence, Aitkenvale, Queensland, Australia
Letters were router-cut from ¾-in. 18-lb. HDU board and mounted on a 42x42 board and frame laminated from ¾-in. cedar and stained. The sign has a metal wrap and is mounted on a cedar post. The dory was hand carved from 3-in. HDU board. John Liptak, Liptak Signs, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Letters and arrows were cut from PVC board, then finished with 23k gold leaf. and mounted on a 32-by-32-in. PVC panel, by John Liptak, Liptak Signs, Portsmouth, Rhode Island. John uses a ShopBot CNC router and Vectric V-Carve Pro software.
The copy and details on this 33-by-135-in. sign are CNC-carved HDU board with convex faces on the copy and round faces on the black and silver details, by Jim Lago, Healdsburg Signs, Healdsburg, California. Details are finished in 1 Shot Metallic Gold and Metallic Silver enamel []. The frame and background are stained natural cedar. Jim uses a MultiCam CNC router.
Each face of this 22-by-36-in. sign is 1-in. HDU board was CNC carved, then bonded back-to-back. The convex carved primary copy was finished with gold leaf and the background done with black smalts. Jim Lago, Healdsburg Signs, Healdsburg, California
Background is ¼-in. clear acrylic panel with dusted crystal vinyl applied second surface. Letters are router-cut ½-in. black PVC board with cut vinyl applied on faces. The swirl designs are vinyl, applied first surface. Sign is mounted using flat-cap standoffs. Brian Meister, Image 360 Lauderhill, Lauderhill, Florida
Lettering/shadow was routed and cut from ¾-in. PVC board with the lettering V-carved then mounted on a 36-by-53-in. panel of ¾-in. overlaid plywood. The oval panel with the young woman is ½-in. PVC board. David Hassan, Hassan Woodcarving & Sign Company, Cohasset, Massachusetts, uses a MultiCam CNC router
Routed 36-by-22-in. SignFoam HDU panel [] with digital print graphics, by Denise Baum, Shannon-Baum Signs & Graphics, Inc., Eldersburg, Maryland. Denise uses an Industrial CNC router.
Panel, letters, and border were cut on the router from ¼-in PVC board and mounted on a router-cut 48-by-96-in. overlaid plywood background panel, by Dave Correll, Brushwork Signs, Faribault, Minnesota. Dave uses a ShopBot CNC router using ArtCam software.
The base panel/border is 3mm brushed aluminum composite material [ACM]. The woodgrain background is the flooring material from their office, bonded to a 3mm ACM panel. The hand logo and outline of the lettering is laser-cut ½-in. black acrylic and the lettering is ¼-in. acrylic with a brushed aluminum laminate, both from Gemini Inc. []. Dave Correll, Brushwork Signs, Faribault, Minnesota
Sign panel is two pieces of HDU board dowelled together to create 93-by-93-in. panel with routed graphics. Router-cut letters are finished with 23K gold leaf on the acrylic latex background. Bird is hand-carved. Carousel Signs & Designs, Rockville, Virginia
Graphics were incise-carved on the router in 2-in. HDU board and finished with 23K gold leaf. Sign is banded with mirror gold .040” aluminum edge trim. Bob Fiddler, Johnny’s Signs, Bedford, Indiana
Routed, carved PVC board, printed with a HP Scitex printer and clear coated with ClearShield UV absorber. “This sign was done with a new process we’re using,” says Bob Fiddler, Johnny’s Signs, Bedford, Indiana. “It allows us to print the graphics on the sign, including any texture—wood, marble, steel, etc.—created with Photoshop. This eliminates all labor involved with finishing.”
Top and center panels are routed HDU board by Appalachian Signs, Boone, North Carolina. They use a ShopBot CNC router and Vectric Aspire software. “The bottom panel is overlaid plywood,” says Sarah Evans. “We laser-engrave the donor nameplates on our Trotec laser [].”

A gallery of CNC sign ideas

Convex, textures, cut-outs, layered, simple, complex—you name it

By signcraft

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2015

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As you see in every issue of SignCraft, CNC routing makes a wide variety of 3-D signage not only possible, but practical. The versatility of CNC’s cutting and routing capabilities makes it a very powerful tool in the hands of a creative designer.

Of course, a CNC router can handle plenty of routine production tasks—like cutting and drilling. But it also makes it easy to add layered outlines, background effects, panels and borders. It lets you create the type of graphics that draw the viewer’s eye.

In a world where viewers are bombarded with visual messages, this becomes a critical task: getting them to choose to look at and read your client’s message. Dimension can add a lot of interest and appeal to a message. It lends a feel of quality and permanence to the image of the business.

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