When it comes to laser cutting in the Pacific Northwest, we find that usually we handle industrial projects for creating everything from designer desks to brake systems for jumbo jets—if it’s made out of metal, something like it has probably come out of our doors.
But laser cutting isn’t all massive machinery and utilitarian creations—laser cutting can also produce delicate, beautiful pieces that are artistic as well as useful. One of our favorite creations that allows us to expand our artistic skills, is that of laser cut signs and laser engraving.
Materials We Use
Signs are most often made from stainless steel, but we can also provide laser cutting services on other forms of metal, wood, polymers and plastics, glass, acrylic plastic, anodized aluminum, other specialty laser compatible metals, and more.
Here’s an outline of materials used and how well they perform:
Acrylic - Both types of acrylic, cast and extruded, can be cut extremely well with lasers. The laser flame cuts cleanly, also polishing the edges as it cuts. Scored and etched lines are very crisp and show well. Thick acrylic performs better.
Aluminum - This soft metal allows for a clean edge, but does tend to melt before being cut through completely. This can sometimes cause the bottom side to become drossy, which can be cleaned up in a de-burring process.
Wood - Wood materials cut extremely well, but there will be lightly browned edges due the heat of the laser flame. Score lines will be darkened. Wood is one of the more common choices for signage.
Sign-foam and Precision Boards - These materials cut extremely well and are lightweight and porous, holding paints very well.
Steel - Mild steel, galvanized steel, and stainless steels all cut very well. The edges are smooth and clean, as the laser flame polishes them as it cuts. This is the most frequent choice for custom signage material.
Laser cutting allows for more complex and detailed designs than other forms of sign creations because the lasers perform to the tiniest detail. This means that we can create whole piece signs, or we can cut out many individual lettering that can then be attached. Floating borders, attached borders, silhouettes, and more are all options for your sign. If you can dream it, our lasers can cut it.
Strong and durable materials that are commonly chosen for signage are almost always conducive to laser cutting. Laser cutting signs provides an exquisite perfection of the cut—no rough lines or areas that are not perfectly cut, even for signs with complex corners and intricate designs. Our laser cutting technology allows for any design to input into our systems, and the lasers provide detailed and flawless lines.
Various Finishing Options
While many of our clients choose to leave their laser cut signs natural, with the wood edges darkened by the laser, or burring and dross accentuating the artistic design of metal sign, other choose a more polished look. This can be done in a variety of ways.
Sanding and de-burring can be performed on wood and metal pieces to remove the charring or dross left behind by the laser. Usually these spots are few and very light. Some clients have even requested additional etching or burning onto their signage to increase the industrial look that is trending these days.
Finally, clients may choose to have their signage painted, polished, or coated with a finish. All of these options can be performed by our expert staff to finish your flawless sign creation.
If you are considering having engraving, etching, or a new sign made for your business or even your home, contact our team of laser cutting professionals. We would love to work with you to create a unique design that will accentuate and enhance your space and business. We offer free quotes to our clients to help them create a budget for their project.