Print and cut acrylic sign up close

Printed acrylic contoured sign for exterior use

This tutorial will show you how to create a sign using printed acrylic. To process this we have used a Trotec laser machine with JobControl® Vision software.


Preparation

Materials required for the tutorial:

  • Printed Acrylic 8mm, 1200mmx600mm
  • 1/4 Sheet TroGlass Satins rose + Self-adhesive-Film
  • 1/4 Sheet TroGlass Colour Gloss Fuchsia + Self-adhesive Film
  • 1 packet Signage Wall Mounts 20mm/20mm

Laser machines used:

* SP3000, 400W and Speedy 400, 100W
* 5" lens and 2" lens
* Acrylic slat table and vacuum table with acrylic grid

Whilst we have used both a large format and flatbed laser in our example, you can create this sample using any Speedy laser engraving machine

Tip:

Experiment with different textures and finishes from the TroGlass series when creating this sample. 


Step by Step

Step 1: Print and import design

Print our template on 8 mm acrylic and import the laser file into your graphics program. Send the laser contour for the shield with the following print settings to your Trotec laser machine:

Process mode Resolution Cut line
Vector Job 1000dpi None
Halftone Others
Colour Optimised Geometries, Inner Geometries First 

Important: Make sure that in the Corel print window, the colour black is already stored in the parameter selection with the process "register marks." This will help you recognise the registration marks later in the JobControl® laser software.


Step 2: Laser cutting printed acrylic

Place the printed acrylic face-up on the acrylic blades in your SP3000. Cover the remaining working surface with a suitable material to optimise the vacuum. The parameters will vary depending on the laser machine used and available laser power:

Laser Parameter Colour Process Power (%) Speed (%) ppi/Hz
Registration Marks Black Reg Marks - - -
Cutting Red Cutting CO2 85 2.3 20,000
Laser Parameter  Passes Air-Assist Z-Offset Advanced
Reg Marks - - - -
Cutting 1 ON -2mm -

Step 3: Acrylic lettering

To achieve a three-dimensional effect, the lettering of the sign is made from coloured TroGlass and glued on. We cut the letters using a Speedy 400 laser engraver. To do so, send the logos with the following settings to your Trotec laser.

Process mode Resolution Cut line
Vector Job 1000dpi None
Halftone Others
Colour Optimised Geometries, Inner Geometries First

Tip:

If you attach the lettering freehand without a template, you can also save space by turning the letters and arranging them in a nested manner, saving material.


Step 4: Laser cutting acrylic lettering

Now place the respective TroGlass sheets onto the acrylic grid cutting table inside your Speedy 400, cover the rest of the processing surface with paper to maximise vacuum and cut out the lettering. The parameters will vary depending on the laser machine used and available laser power:

Colour Process Power (%) Speed (%) ppi/Hz
Red Cut CO2 100 1 1000

 

Passes Air Assist Z-Offset Advanced
1 on - -

Tip:

We have set a framework around the word "Chicago." After laser processing, we secured the letters to the frame with tape so that the entire word can be perfectly aligned when glued.


Step 5: Finishing

To finish the sample, peel off the protective film on the front of the acrylic shield. First, place the lettering loosely on the sign. If you are happy with the orientation, stick each letter one after the other on the acrylic shield. We placed the lettering "Chicago" at the end of the process, as soon as the words for "jazz club" are fixed. The contour-cut sign made from TroGlass is finished, and can easily be attached to the wall using wall spacers.


What makes TroGlass a suitable material for this application

TroGlass is a product line that includes a large range of cast acrylic sheets in a variety of colours, each with different finishes and degrees of transparency. This is only one of the range of benefits that make our "specially developed for laser" cast acrylic the number one choice for creating eye-catching and creative applications. TroGlass offers a very high weather resistance and optimal light transmission and is very easy to work with.


Inspiration

  • Illuminate the sign from behind with an LED strip to make it visible in the dark.
  • For additional applications, you could create matching name badges and place holders, an excellent idea for bars and restaurants. 


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