Custom Engraved Signs

Custom engraved signs can be easily crafted by hand with the use of the tools that have been in use for engraving for a very long time now. Hand tools called burins come in many different sizes and shapes, which help with the creation of the many different lines and shapes that make out the words and images you find on signs. These tools are also used to create rather intricate designs on other items, aside from signage, and need to be handled by masters of the trade for such designs to come to life.

In sign manufacturing, the rather minute and intricate details that come from the use of these hand tools are not often asked for, save for special signage that some people request for. Since most of the signs that you see around establishments need to follow very specific rules set by the government for ADA compliance, a lot of sign makers now rely on machinery that can easily create ADA compliant signs for them. These machines are computer operated and can be fed the signage design that needs to be made in order for the sign to be manufactured.

These machines actually speed up the manufacturing process, while still maintaining the clean and crisp lines that are needed for quality signage that people need for their businesses. Not all sign makers use the same equipment though, with some opting for laser engraving machines over routers, and vice versa. Here are some of the features of these machines that are used for creating custom engraved signs and why some companies prefer one over the other:

Laser Engraving Machines -   these machines harness the power of heat and light that lasers have and use this to create designs on materials that are suitable for use with this particular marking technology. Laser engravers can be used to create engraved signs when the materials used for creating these signs are “laserable”. There are a number of materials that cannot be used with this marking method, and for a number of good reasons. For one, some materials tend to reflect the beam back (metals are rather notorious for this) and another reason is that others produce fumes that can be rather deadly.

The materials that you can use with laser engraving machines are often those that can be easily “burned” to create the much needed markings for these signs. These include natural materials such as wood, rubber or latex compounds, and compressed cardboard, to name a few. Plastics are also considered “laserable” as long as these are part of the cast resin family of plastics. Some plastics do not engrave too well however, with some plastics actually producing noxious gases when heated with lasers. In order to know which plastics can be engraved with the use of lasers, some testing may be needed.

Rotary Engraving Machines – these are engraving machines that use a rotating cutter to cut out letters, numbers and images onto the surface of hard materials. These machines can actually be used for more than just signage making, but is considered one of the most accurate tools to have for the creation of engraved signs. These are also called routers, with the engraving process called routing, and are used by many sign manufacturers due to the fact that this particular machine can be used with almost any material that the cutter can cut.

These tools were said to have taken the back seat when laser engraving machines came into the picture, but this is not actually true. A number of signage manufacturers actually prefer this tool for its versatility and the wide array of material choices they can use with it. Custom engraved signs are easier to create with this kind of a machine, especially when the material choices customers make are those that cannot be safely used with laser engraving technology. 

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