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Read about high-quality laser engraved acrylic signs service. A customer asked if we could engrave a sign out of either wood or acrylic for his wife’s business. Yes, we can do that. But the important next question is how big? It needs to be around 450mm and round. Yes, we can do that. We can go up to 500mm for a round sign. But that limits the materials.
We can engrave on different plywoods ranging from darker Walnut through to light Poplar. These plywood sheets are 3mm thick. They often have a MDF centre and timber veneer either side. This gives a consistent laser engraving and cut without visible random air pockets on the edge when veneer layers are joined in the middle.
The colour of the engraving is more predictable with the MDF centre. Wood being a natural product can have large variations in colour within a piece a timber and between different pieces of timber. This was particularly clear recently when laser engraving 40 wooden Acacia cheese boards the colour variation was huge.
However, the plywood sheet sizes are 600 x 300mm. These would be too small for this particular sign. We also have some 3 plywood Hoop pine which we can use the full bed of the machine. This means up to 800 x 500mm.
Chemically treated timber is not recommended for CO2 laser engraving. As laser engraving is a burning or vaporising process this can release the toxins into the atmosphere. Generally treated wood for exterior use is CCA treated. This is Copper and Arsenic to protect against fungal decay and wood boring insects. Plus, Chromium to fix the preservative to the cell structure of the wood.
When burnt these heavy metal toxins are released into the atmosphere and quite unsafe for the laser operator or anyone else in the building. Nelson City Council has an article on burning CCA treated timber for firewood referencing this chemical release. If you are wanting an exterior sign, we recommend a naturally durable solid wood to be used. However, over time these will change colour, can move and warp and have surface checking open up in your sign. Fine detail can be lost. We recommend deep and bold lines and text for exterior wood signs. While it can’t achieve the same corner detail as a laser a CNC router machine is best budget wise for this style of sign.
For a sign of this size the thicker 3.2mm thickness is best to use as it is very robust. These acrylic sheets come in range of different colours. They are a two-part composite sheet. There is a thick back layer. This is the reverse side of the sheet and will be seen as the edge as well. On top of that for the face side is a very thin layer of a different colour.
To create a custom-made sign, we engrave through the surface layer exposing the rear colour. With that process you get a two-colour sign. These materials are also UV stable and can be used for exterior purposes. With these options an acrylic sign was chosen. Also, to increase from the first estimate of 450mm in size to the full 500mm diameter size.
The quality of a custom-made sign image is important. You want the best presentation of that sign you can get. If it is for your business this is how your business will be judged. They haven’t even entered the building and made a judgement of what might be inside. When low-quality, low-resolution images are blown up for a sign the pixelation is drastically exaggerated. If you are looking for that jagged edge pixelation effect everything is fine.
However, if nice smooth curves are more your thing, then a vector image is the best file type for a sign. By using a high-power fast laser engraving machine set to a high DPI printing quality like our Trotec Speedy 360 120-watt machine we can reduce that pixelation effect. But only if the image itself is high quality to start with. Sometimes we can work with low quality image and spend time in graphic design converting the image to a vector image eliminating pixels. Then working to smooth out the edge and get a far higher quality result. This can take some time however and is an added cost. A vector image generally does not need this extra process.
Generally, no. As laser engraving is not a printing process there are no inks. Inks can fade over time. The acrylic is two layers of plastic. The effect of the sign is to remove one part exposing the other. There is a depth to the image. You can run your fingers over the surface and feel the image cut into the surface. However, as a plastic it will change colour over many years. These Trolase acrylic plastics are UV-resistant and will last a considerable length of time.
The colour chosen was a white sheet with black backing layer. This gives a black and white sign effect. All the engraved areas and edge is black with a white background. This is quite a large amount of engraving and takes some time to do. Our machine can do multiple processes in one set of instructions. It transfers from the engraving process to the cutting process and completes the sign in one operation. It just requires some clean-up from us afterwards and is ready for our customer.
Any shape is possible. Yes, ANY shape. Yes, holes can be cut in it. Either for fixings or parts of the image. You can get extra effect of not only the engraved image but having removed parts to see through. This can be great for layered effects.
Any size up to 800mm wide and up 500mm high.
A quote will be provided for our custom laser engraving service and courier delivery so that you know how much everything will cost up front. Contact us with your questions and stay up to date with our latest news and promotions on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Instagram.
They were so helpful, gave clear easy instruction which made ordering very quick & easy. All done with with such speedy service. Highly recommended. Thank you.
Thanks to Antoinette for her wonderful, helpful and friendly assistance, and the designers for quickly producing and editing proof’s as requested. Great service and pricing. Delivery was superfast! 10/10 – thanks team!
Thank you Antionette and Trent for going above and beyond on a last-minute project for me. Great people and great work!