Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2019 • 19 Appliqué with raster beads is quick and cost-effective, but because the beads are separate from the sign material, it can be less durable. The method involves tak- ing one layer of acrylic or another mate- rial and adhering on a second layer. "You put the ADA tactile material over the substrate to cover over where the let- tering goes," says Joseph Drucker, owner of ADA Visual Products in Costa Mesa, California, adding that the engraving stock needs to meet the ADA requirement of 1/32nd of an inch in thickness. "You laser over it and weed out the letters. You literally cut through the tactile material." The raised images are cut out of the second layer using a router or laser engraver, and the excess material is removed or peeled off to leave behind the imaging. Painting is not necessary to achieve the contrast between the back- ground and images since the acrylic already is in the chosen color. Braille beads, which are made of plas- tic, brass, aluminum or steel, are added separately by first cutting or lasering small holes into the surface of the sign and using an engraver to insert the beads, which are slightly larger than the holes. "You drill and fill the Braille, which is already located in the (computer) file," Drucker says. "It's convenient and inex- pensive." The beads are tension fitted into the holes, so that a portion of each bead sits above the sign's surface creating a domed appearance. "If they are set at the proper depth, they're pretty tough to get out," Anderson says. The material of both layers needs to have little variation in the surface, mak- ing plastic or wood-grain laminates ideal, Anderson says. "You can use a wide range of materials with this style as long as it has a flat sur- face for adhering the images and is solid enough to hold the Braille," Anderson says. The appliqué method used to be the most popular method for ADA signage but recently has been surpassed by digi- tal or direct color printing, Kelly says, adding that in the past eight years, the method has become the most popular. Digital Printing and Etching Digital printing involves using com- puter files to print the desired colors and shapes onto the sign's surface, resulting in less cleaning and skipping the step of needing to inlay the beads, Kelly says. The method also is cost-effective, requir- ing minimal equipment purchases while also offering speed, quality, accuracy and a high level of detail, he says. The method is a printing process that adds layers of ink to acrylic, metal or another material to build up the Braille The appliqué method used to be the most popular method for ADA signage but recently has been surpassed by digital or direct color printing. TURBO-CHARGED! Plus our incredible-126-inch HandTop Turbo Roll-to-Roll machine with Kyocera printheads and dual roll printing delivers unparalleled productivity, accuracy and quality! † Speed increase over traditional wide format 126" roll-to-roll printer Express Production Quality +82% +79% Turbo Turbo Turbo +67% Print speed advantage † HandTop TURBO Roll-to-Roll HandTop TURBO Flatbed & Hybrid Our remarkable, HandTop Turbo Flatbed and Turbo Hybrid digital UV inkjet wide format printers, equipped with new Ricoh Gen6 printheads achieve dramatically higher quality, accuracy and productivity. † Average increase over traditional wide format across all Fluid Color flatbed and hybrid models Print speed advantage † +46% +36% +71% Express Production Quality Turbo Turbo Turbo Digital UV Wide Format Printers Turbocharge your wide format operation! Call us or email us today 1-833-FLUIDUV or sales@fluidcolor.com Featuring f l u i d c o l o r. c o m

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