August '21

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5 8 G R A P H I C S P R O A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S H O P T A L K | R I C K W I L L I A M S NON-CNC DIMENSIONAL LOGOS A while back, we produced some handsome metallic dimensional letters and logos that were metal- faced foam, and made with simple hand skills using a standard tabletop scroll saw for cutting. Cutting templates were simply plotted vinyl or vinyl paint mask. I purchased one full 4' X 8' sheet of a material called UltraBoard Aluminum in a 1/2" thickness with a brushed gold-colored aluminum surface. The material is a dark gray (almost black) foam board with a thin black plastic sheet surface. On one side, a thin sheet of brushed aluminum is bonded in place. With that one sheet, I produced several jobs, cutting them by hand after applying vinyl graphics to go by, painting the edges with satin black latex paint, and applying them to interior office walls with double- sided tape, plus a T-pin concealed along the top edge of each part as long-term in- surance (I have had double-sided tape fail before on certain wall coatings, which is quite embarrassing). Today, most of our dimensional letters and logos are cut either on our laser, router, or waterjet, depending on the material be- ing used, which is likely acrylic sheet with a metallic polyester surface if cut on a laser, or aluminum laminate, actual plate alumi- num, or brushed surface aluminum sheet bonded to 1/2"-thick PVC if cut on the waterjet or router. I had nearly forgotten about the metal- faced foam UltraBoard Aluminum, which was simply cut by hand on our scroll saw, until a previous happy client, with a name change, contacted us wanting a couple more dimensional logos like we'd made for them before. So, back in the hand-cut logo business we were, and I thought for this month's Shop Talk we'd look at this simple way of making metal-looking logos and letters without the need for CNC equipment. CUTTING DETAILS When I called our usual substrate supplier, they still had some of that material but not in the 1/2"-thick version we'd used before. Instead, they had a sheet or two in stock in the same brushed gold material that was 1" thick. The extra thickness, which The first step, after acquiring a full 4' X 8' of this Ul- traBoard Aluminum material in a 1" thickness, was to cut the sheet down to just the size our two new logos would require. Above left: Originally we produced this logo, three times, for one client, and each were made of the same met- al-faced foam and cut by hand on a scroll saw, no CNC cutting required. (All images courtesy Rick Williams) Above right: Our new job would replace them with this logo, made of the same material, cut in the same way. Plotter cut vinyl templates were cut using paint mask vinyl and applied to our metal-faced sheets, paying attention to the orientation of the brushed aluminum pattern. Each part would be rough cut first with a hand jig saw. The original job included a number of small parts, all scroll saw cut, but the new logos would actually be simpler.

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