Introduction: 3D Insructable Sign
heres a step by step to constructing your own 3D sign with out a laser engraver/cutter
Step 1: Patterns
the first step is making patterns. I downloaded the images of the logo by doing a screen capture
then traced them in coreldraw, but you could probably do this in most graphics programs or do it by hand and use a projector if you need to enlarge it. I then sent it to my plotter to draw the pattern on paper, again you could do this by hand also.
Step 2: Cutting Substrates
I then glued the paper patterns by first spraying the backside of the paper the letting it dry so as not to melt the styrofoam then burnish it on to the styrofoam, went to the bandsaw and cut it out. The foam is just the pink (or blue or gray) insulating foam found at most hardware / lumber stores. the acrylic is available at sign shops and plastic stores such as Tap Plastics or online.
Step 3: Carving
This foam is very easy to carve basic tools would include a bread knife, x-acto, and sandpaper.
be very easy with the sandpaper, if you get to aggressive you start pulling out chunks, and finer grits are usually better
After carving is done put two to three coats of waterbased primer on the foam and let dry well,
you should then be able to paint with just about any paint without affecting the foam, but to absolutely
use water based paints throughout this portion of the project
Step 4: Cutting the Acrylic
now this part is where we could use a laser cutter, if we only had one. Again glue your patterns to the acrylic and take it to the bandsaw.
Then get some vinyl scraps from your local sign shop and put it in you laser cutter (oops) plotter and cut it out. if you dont have a plotter or laser engraver get a sign shop to cut it for you or print it out full size carefully cut out with an exact knife after lightly misting the paper pattern and adhering it to the vinyl.
Step 5: Finishing Up
I didn't have any orange acrylic for the background so I painted some yellow acrylic orange using krylon
spray bombs. I then positioned the smaller acrylic pieces and used silicon to glue it down. I then glued down the carved hand to finish off the sign.
Step 6: Some Examples
Heres a few signs I've done using these techniques. The Juice Co logo on the brown wall uses EL wire around it and glows at night. The Klassy Ragz logo has a background spayed with same coating used to spray bedliners.
See more of my work at http://home.budget.net/~signjon/Home.htmwww.jpgrapicsdesign.com
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