Apply mask and cut to shape: 45 minutes I cut the panel shape in removable white vinyl and applied it to the prefinished 3mm aluminum composite material to serve as a cutting mask.
I laid the panel on a piece of 4-in. thick foam to support the panel while I was cutting out the shape.
The cutting was done with a saber saw and a Dewalt medium metal cutting blade with 18 teeth per inch. It cuts the 3mm ACM nicely.
Cut, print and apply the vinyl film: 45 minutes Printed vinyl before weeding
Here’s the primary copy, printed on the Gerber Edge printer and weeded.
I do my application using a RollsRoller Applicator Table. Here I’ve positioned the panel and tacked the graphics in position.
I rolled the applicator roller to the center of the panel.
Then I removed half of the liner paper and laid that half of the graphics over the roller. I rolled that portion down.
Next, I removed the rest of the liner and rolled the other half down.
The vinyl was applied in a matter of seconds.
I applied the border, ornament and secondary copy by hand, and the sign was complete.

What’s it cost to produce this 26-by-40-in. sign?

Digital printing and cut vinyl film combine to get the job done

By Michael James

Posted on Monday, April 30th, 2018

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Substrate: $19.33
Cast metallic gold vinyl (4 ft. x 15 in.): $5.71
Cast white vinyl (4 ft. x 15 in.): $5.01
Removable white vinyl (8 ft. x 15 in.): $5.57
Gerber EDGE foils (black and UV 3 ft. each): $3.72
Application tape: $2.29
Jig saw blade: $4.39

Total materials: $46.02


Design and communicate with client: 60 minutes
Cut out substrate: 45 minutes
Cut, print and apply graphics: 45 minutes

Total time: 2 1/2 hours

Our local newspaper needed a new sign for the exterior of their office. To stay within their budget, I chose to use 3mm aluminum composite material for the sign panel, which was 26-by-40-in. overall. Instead of using cut vinyl for the graphics, I decided to use a wide format print mounted to ACM.

I did a design for them to review. After the customer approved it, I began production. Our shop is in a rural area and resources such as CNC services are limited, so I used a jig saw to cut the design.

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