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

Comments

author
msohaib made it!(author)2014-02-21

D F D Academy

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Waren-Neutron made it!(author)2010-11-23

where it is found the examples?

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Waren-Neutron made it!(author)2010-11-23

you use a printer?

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M4industries made it!(author)2009-10-17

Step zero: aquire a $7000 laser cutter.

Ive used a laser cutter before to etch my iPod. But that was at TechShop Durham in NC. About 400mi away from my house. Techshop was a side trip. But where else does one have acess to a laser cutter? Preferably an epilog.

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chrome123 made it!(author)2009-09-18

you forgot a word in the yellow box

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peterman921 made it!(author)2009-09-18

what word would that be?

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chrome123 made it!(author)2009-09-18

"Did you Dharma makes spray glue." >> ""Did you know Dharma makes spray glue?"

author
robots199 made it!(author)2009-04-12

I think with this same method, you could make the Left 4 Dead Hand On the Box. ( Runs to try it out ). Great Instructable.

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LastDevil made it!(author)2009-04-11

England mate, could use the info but i need a 16ft by 2ft sign and it would look great by somebody that knows what their doing ;)

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peterman921 made it!(author)2009-04-11

I can probably get you hooked up if I know what city, Theres several guys I can get you hooked up with that live in the UK including England

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LastDevil made it!(author)2009-04-12

Thanks mate, PM sent

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sgt_rock made it!(author)2009-02-05

I L O V E the dharma initiative spray adhesive!!!!

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peterman921 made it!(author)2009-04-11

yeah, left over props from my coleslaw insructable

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poolgirlblue made it!(author)2009-02-11

your signs are beautiful.

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peterman921 made it!(author)2009-04-11

Thanks. 20 years experience does that I guess. they used to not look quite as good but still saleable.

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LastDevil made it!(author)2009-04-11

I need a shop sign but think it's 2 far to post and would cost a lot to send it :( Yaour great at what you do .... keep it up

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peterman921 made it!(author)2009-04-11

where are you? can you use this information to make your own?

author
Creativeman made it!(author)2009-01-16

You inspired me...I had my hand on hand from a previous project. I actually made several of them by pouring plaster of paris into regular latex medical gloves. You can form them somewhat by manipulating the full gloves before the plaster sets up. the letters are cut from EPS foam with my hotwire. All mounted on cardboard....thought you might enjoy seeing this, and thanks for your ible. Cman

PC300011.JPG
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FullyInvolvedScientist made it!(author)2008-09-27

Great Instructable! Very cool!

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GorillazMiko made it!(author)2008-02-09

Cool! I wish I could do this. Is the Juice Co. your place? If it is, you should put the Instructables sign up on the wall! :-)

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peterman921 made it!(author)2008-02-10

No not my place of business they just hire me to do signs once in a while

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Yerboogieman made it!(author)2007-12-29

i have the same band saw, delta makes some pretty ok ones

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kirnex made it!(author)2007-09-12

Nice lookin' signs. The hand came out particularly nice, as renditions go. Another way to make it, if you're not so artistic (or perhaps just lazy like me) is to use semi-damp sand and push your own hand in it, then carefully remove it and use the impression to cast a plaster (or even paper pulp) replica. You can always tweak it with your Dremel if it has some rough edges, but if you get the sand the right consistency, it ought to be pretty true-to-form. Thanks for sharing this with us.

author
odecom5 made it!(author)2007-06-26

very nice! i'm in the signage business too! i really enjoy it. those others you posted above are pretty cool signs. i went to your websites to check out more of your work but neither of them work :(

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peterman921 made it!(author)2007-06-26

just type www.jpgraphicsdesign.com into your browser

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odecom5 made it!(author)2007-06-26

edit: also, i like your very subtle hints that you might want the laser cutter lol

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FreakCitySF made it!(author)2007-06-25

So what would you typically charge a client for the Juice Creations or the Instructable sign?

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peterman921 made it!(author)2007-06-25

well in my area (southern Oregon) I would charge about 250 for the instructable sign it only took about three hours plus materials, the juice creations sign was $600. Neither was very big everything, on the Juice sign was cutout, no vinyl.

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FreakCitySF made it!(author)2007-06-26

That's a cool little business you got going!

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FreakCitySF made it!(author)2007-06-25

::Jaw Drops:: awesomeness need the squigly lines on the hand! Cool stuff I never even knew what a plotter was!

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peterman921 made it!(author)2007-06-25

I thought about it but too much work for a freebie, but if I ever get a laser cutter I'll just cut the layers and stack them and it will look more like the logo.

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