View Full Version : Laser Cut ADA tactile and Corel Draw plug in

Chris Tassos
05-16-2017, 2:57 PM
Hi there. I remember reading a post awhile back about Keith softening the edges of tactile letters that were cut on the a laser for ADA signs due to the advisory 703.2. I was under the impression that laser cut tactile lettering was compliant. Is this a requirement for laser cut tactile lettering?? Also does the Corel Draw Plug in support the California requirements for spacing of braille.

Thanks everyone..

John Lifer
05-16-2017, 10:05 PM
It might have been compliant in the past, but the requirement now (a good while back actually) is that it must be round. As in round, not tapered. The only way with a laser is cut holes on reverse and place round beads into hole.

Chris Tassos
05-16-2017, 11:30 PM
I understand the braille is required to be domed, but rather I was asking about the actual raised lettering on the sign. If you route it out you have a bevel, but if you laser it out you have straight square edges. Here is a link to the thread:


Keith Outten
05-17-2017, 8:26 AM

Its the top edge of the tactile text that needs to have "No Sharp Edges" according to the new ADA Standard. The straight edge that the laser leaves in the sign blank isn't a problem. A vibratory tumbler will break the edge of both the top and bottom of the text and numbers, its hardly noticeable but you can feel that the edge sharpness is gone. It doesn't effect the fit of the text in the laser engraved holes.

I still use the tumbler, in fact I have two of them now and the second one is used as a washing machine with water and soap. I tumble just a few letter types at a time so it makes sorting them faster. Since I only do very large projects I tumble tens of thousands of letters, numbers and icons at the beginning of each project. Its kind of an automatic job that doesn't require any time on my part, dump the text in the tumbler and turn it on. Breaking the edge with the laser adds a significant amount of time to the job, and hours on the laser, having to run two passes for so many letters and numbers.

I'm using a mix of small to large aquarium rocks with glass beads in my tumbler. The glass beads aren't abrasive enough without some weight to force them against the plastic edges. The top surface isn't really affected since the ADA Standard already requires tactile text to have a matte finish.

Chris Tassos
05-17-2017, 12:41 PM
Thanks Keith. Seeing as how it's an ADVISORY, doesn't that constitute a recommendation, but is not mandatory. I saw this excerpt from the access-board.gov website. It's in regards to a play area, but it's still has the definition.

***The ADA Standards also include requirements for play areas (§240 and §1008) and recommendations (advisory notes) with respect to children’s reach ranges (§301.1) and ramp handrails used primarily by children (§505.4).***

Also does the Corel Draw Plug in support California Braille spacing guidelines??

Thanks again Keith, I really appreciate the information

Keith Outten
05-24-2017, 10:50 AM

It was the 2014 revision of the ADA Standard that changed the requirement concerning sharp edges on Tactile Text. I have searched my had drive for the document but I haven't found it yet. As soon as i find the file i will provide you with the appropriate section number. Your right about the Advisory, they are not mandatory they are basically warnings about changes that will probably be implemented in the next revision of the Standard.

Aaron Koehl's braille script for Corel Draw most likely meets the California Standard, I will ask him the next time I talk to him on the phone.

Chris Tassos
05-25-2017, 3:18 AM
Great Keith.. I would be interested in the section you're talking about. Also if Aaron's script meets the California standards that would be great.


Chuck Vezzetti
05-28-2017, 6:08 AM
Keith... The specs for the Los Angeles Unified School District states " Raised characters and graphics shall have beveled, eased or rounded edges". I have used your method the ease the edges and have had no rejection yet! My question how do you put the adhesive on the letters, it was always easier to put the adhesive on before cutting the letters but it seems that the tumbler will damage it. I didn't try it in the tumbler.
I have seen this spec used on other jobs.

Keith Outten
05-28-2017, 11:02 AM

I purchase 0.062" thick ADA plastic without an adhesive backing. I laser cut all of my letters, numbers and icons at the beginning of the job and since I use Corian for my sign blanks I laser engrave both the braille and the tactile text to a depth of 0.033" deep. Basically its an inlay and I put a few drops of CA glue in the engraved area and quickly place the letter or number.

Aaron Koehl
06-08-2017, 2:18 AM
Also does the Corel Draw Plug in support California Braille spacing guidelines??

The plugin does support the new wide spacing, as well as the old standard guidelines.