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Large signs must be cut using a router. Signs can be cut up 4 feet by 8 feet and out of variety of materials such as acrylic, wood, and aluminum. The machine holds a spindle which spins at 20,000 rotations per minute. The material is cut by the spindle similar to a drill – many cuts are made, and the entire operation can take minutes to hours to complete, depending on complexity.
The router machine uses CNC technology, meaning a computer controls the cuts and the machine. In order to craft a sign, a technician makes a digital 3D model, which is then outputted to the machine for the sign to be cut out. This ensures accuracy and quality.
Lasered Signs are made in a similar manor to routered signs, but instead of a spinning cutting piece, a laser is used. No blade or tool physically touches the sign in a laser machine. A super heated laser vaporizes the material, and cuts it into shape. This ensures a smooth finish, and very accurate results.
The laser machine also operates via CNC, the same as the router machine, meaning a digital replica of the sign must be created on the computer before cutting can occur.