CNC Routing For Sign Shops

Just a few years ago purchasing a CNC table was out of question for most small to medium size sign shops. Entry level tables began around $70,000 – $80,000, cut slow, and required the operator to manually input the majority of the code for the cut file. Today, with updated control software and a variety of new CNC manufacturers producing tables, smaller companies are able to add these exciting and productive tools to their equipment list.

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The benefits of a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router table to a sign shop are numerous. Cutting squares and rectangles from MDO or other sign substrates is relatively easy with a common table saw or panel saw, but what happens there are 10, 25, or even 50 shapes to cut?

We are One Source Media, a vinyl wrap and sign shop located in Queens, NY. We specialize in creating beautiful, high-quality vinyl wraps for businesses of all sizes. Our products are durable, weatherproof, and perfect for any purpose you can imagine. Plus, our team is passionate about providing superior customer service. Contact us today to learn more about our vinyl wraps and signs!

What if the shapes contain an arc or are circles? Many shops have cut out circles and complex shapes for their sign blanks with jigsaws and templates for years and do a great job of it but the automation and accuracy of a CNC table saves time and money, freeing up the production staff to perform other more valuable tasks. Bringing routing operations in house adds a whole new component to a sign shops product line. The ability to utilize a CNC table to cut letters from materials such as PVC and acrylic in house, cut dimensional signs from cedar and HDU, V-groove signs with a router instead of carving them by hand, all can be a huge revenue source for a sign shop.

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Entry level tables today start around $10,000, including software. A panel saw, which is pretty much a requirement in any sign shop, costs upwards of $5-$6000.00. This price brings the CNC table into the reach of many shops. While in the past, the CNC operator had to manually input coordinates for a shape one point in a time, today’s CNC software products allow you to layout shapes in popular graphic design software programs, just as one would layout vinyl shapes to cut on a plotter, and import those vector files directly into the CNC table’s control software. Some popular CNC software packages even allow the operator to easily and efficiently design 3d relief’s of objects to add to the sign.

In the last 5-10 years, CNC technology has improved dramatically. Earlier machines contained limited memory allowing the tables to run only a few simple cuts per job. Code for a simple v-grooved line of text alone can contain a few thousand lines of code. Many of today’s tables run from a desktop PC and can process one or two hundred thousand lines of code without a problem allowing the operator to carve out a full four foot by eight foot dimensional sign on the table in a single run. Faster processors and better motors allow the tables to run faster, cleaner, and more accurate than ever.

One Source Media Vinyl Wraps
14-57 110th St, Queens, NY 11356
(929) 205-1088

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