Signage & Displays

Laser Cutting & Laser Engraving Signs
(POS displays, signage, displays, illuminated advertising, printed signs, exhibition stands, neon signs and shop-fittings)

POP displays, digital printing

A laser machine can give you the ability to create exceptional shapes for signs and advertisement displays. Laser technology has the unique ability to transform a printed acrylic sheet, wooden board or a simple piece of paper into a product with high value and eye-catching qualities. Anything is possible with a Trotec laser cutting machine, the sky is your only limit! Already, print service providers and signage companies are embracing laser technology, and making the most of the advantages they provide – like cutting and engraving signs, laser engraving plaques, etc.

Suitable Materials for Laser Processing

Rigid Materials:

  • Acrylic
  • Foam
  • Polystyrene
  • Wood
  • MDF
  • Plywood
  • Veneer

Flexible Materials:

  • Card
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Polyester Film
  • Polycarbonate Film
  • Textiles
  • Cotton
  • Canvas
  • Carpet
  • Polyester

Check out how to use a laser

for making displays, shop fitting, cutting dimensional letters and lighting fixtures.

What can you create with a laser?

Everything is possible from simple rectangular signs to complex contours, displays and illuminated signs:

Application examples for laser processing signage & displays

Using a Trotec laser, you can feel free and flexible in terms of application and material usage, especially for advertising technology. The laser beam is the universal ‘tool’ for all geometries and material thicknesses – there is no need to change tools for different materials.

Try using a Trotec laser to engrave signs and plaques. The contact-less laser beam gives laser engraving and cutting a smooth, crisp and clear finish.

  • UV-printed, contour-cut signs made of high quality acrylic
  • Printed advertising materials of acrylic, illuminated letters and logos
  • Contour cut of illuminated acrylic signs
  • Acrylic letters, with and without backlight
  • Large-format engraving and marking of acrylic plates for LED panels and backlit applications
  • Printed displays in exceptional shapes
  • Printed and cut card displays
  • Flags, appliquées and banners

Why should you use a laser for laser finishing?

For sign shops, signage & display companies, acrylic fabricators and shop fitters, the laser cutter serves as a productive, clean, reliable and universal solution for all geometries and material thicknesses. Unlike routers, flame-polished cutting edges on acrylics can be achieved with laser finsihing without additional post-processing. In addition, the laser cutter enables wear free processing to achieve reproducible results. As a consequence a competitive advantage is guaranteed to offer new products at reduced costs to achieve more profit.

Function & Advantages of Laser Technology

Flame-Polished Cutting Edge

  • Laser cut your signs or displays on transparent acrylic if you desire. It produces a crystal-clear cutting edge without having to deal with post-processing

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Precise axle drives and intelligent air guidance ensures optimal cutting results.

A Faster Cut

  • The laser cutter is 2-3 times faster than a milling cutter, depending on the power used

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Care is taken in designing the beam path
  • Sophisticated path planning in Trotec laser machines

Contactless Processing

  • No need to fix materials to the laser bed
  • Material will not warp

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • Multi-functional table concept for easy handling

No Tool Wear

  • Laser beam will not wear over time
  • No costs for new tools

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • CeramiCore laser sources have a particularly long service life

Easy Digital Manufacturing

  • Designs are created in your preferred graphics program and sent to the laser via the ‘print’ command

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • JobControl® laser software: Simple, efficient, intuitive.

Precise Cutting of Printed Materials

  • Using Print&Cut applications, the registration marks can determine the position and rotation of a printed material, automatically adjusting the cutting path

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • With JobControl® vision software, you can create amazing details and produce professional laser cut signs

Best Possible Precision

  • Thanks to wear-free procedure and tools, all parts are reliable and precise
  • No costs for waste and repeated production

Advantages of a Trotec laser

  • High-quality optics and beam quality
  • Precise axle drives and intelligent air guidance
"We bought a Trotec laser because we received excellenct service and support from Trotec's sales person before placing our order. A full day of training as well as prompt responses to any queries we had adds up to a very satisfying experience with Trotec."
- ​Peter Inder - Sales Manager at Signtech Ltd -
"I chose a Trotec laser because it allowed us to offer our clients greater flexibility in custom cut print production, and it could also be used for our signage requirements. The Trotec laser enables us to offer quick turnaround for promotional items, and allows us to stand out from our competitors with unique short run diecut invitations. It's the most versatile machine we have had and it allows us to make prototypes of promotional materials in-house."
- Darion Teoh - Director, Bless Designs -
"Trotec offers my business reliability, speed, precision and quality of work produced. I would recommend a Trotec laser for the build quality, reliability and for the flexibility within the JobControl software. Compared to other alternative processes and equipment, Trotec lasers are the most versatile. I have no regrets whatsoever with my new 75 watt Speedy 300 Flexx"
- Jo Anderson - manager of Vital Image Graphics -

Which machines are best for laser cutting signs & displays?

Large-format laser cutters: SP Series

Trotec COlaser cutters are designed for fast and precise processing of large-format materials with easy integration into the shop floor. Highest laser cutting speed, the four-side access and Tandem Assist ensure maximum productivity.

✔ Work area: from 1245 x 710 up to 3250 x 3210 mm
✔ Laser type: CO₂ laser

Large-format laser cutters Smaller machine options

Tips for Laser Cutting Signage & Displays

“What is the difference between cast and extruded acrylic?”

Generally, both types of acrylic are equally common in laser processing procedures, and both are very well suited. However, the advantages and disadvantages of cast (GS) and extruded (XT) can affect your work depending on the application.

Cast acrylic is available in many colours, and is produced at a higher thickness of 3-25mm. Laser engraving cast acrylic usually leaves you with a beautiful contrasted affect. The edge will be crystal clear, due to the laser beam polishing and sharpening as it goes.

Extruded acrylic, on the other hand, is only available in a few, limited colours, with a thickness of only 1.5-25mm (sheets) and 30µm-1mm (films). It is also cheaper than cast acrylic. The density of the material is much lower as well, enabling it to be laser cut a lot faster, and with less power. Laser engraving extruded acrylic does not produce the high contrast that cast acrylic does, and a sharp ridge occurs at the exit point of the laser beam during laser cutting.

“How do I get a glossy cutting edge on acrylic?”

The well-known crystal-clear, glossy cutting edge is a characteristic of acrylic laser cutting. The reasons for this include:

  • the acrylic used - manufacturer and type (cast or extruded);
  • the system used - lens, laser power, processing table and exhaust;
  • the laser parameters - ratio of speed, power, frequency and the focus positioning

If these factors are correctly combined, you’ll get a beautifully flame-polished edge every single time.

“What is the difference between acrylic and polycarbonate?”

Polycarbonate (PC) brands, like Makrolon®, are often confused with acrylic. This has a lot to do with certain manufacturers containing both products in their range, and mixing the two together. Polycarbonate has some fundamentally different properties to acrylic – and these need to be taken into consideration when laser processing. For example, PC is less UV stable, impact-resistant and can be deformed when cold. When laser processing, PC is only suitable for marking and cutting films up to about 500µm. Sheets of 1mm thicknesses and more will discolour and carbonise when laser cut.

“Can DiBond be laser cut?”

Unfortunately, aluminium composite boards like DiBond can’t be laser cut. While aluminium and plastic can be processed using laser technology, but the combination of aluminium-plastic-aluminium results in an unstable and uneconomical result during laser cutting. Trotec does not recommend any attempts here.

“What about laser cutting films containing PVC?”

Materials containing PVC cannot and should never be laser processed. Toxic fumes can be produced, and these can harm both the operator and the laser machine. There are many PVC- free options on the market today, and there should never be any reason to process PVC.

“Are there any laser-capable alternatives to Forex® and Kapa®?”

Unfortunately, Forex® and Kapa® can’t be laser cut. However, as a PVC/PU-free lightweight foam board, we recommend Smart-X from the company ‘3A Composites’. It is made up of 100% polystyrene, and works perfectly for laser cutting.

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