View Full Version : 3d Channel Letter ideas

sunil jain
09-29-2007, 1:17 PM
Hi to everyone in forum.

I have laser 25 watt laser machine by which i make 3d letters by cutting 8 to 10 mm thick acrylic.

I have received different job where the customer wants hollow letters ie 3d channel letters.

Can anyone help me how to do the above task. What equipment and machines are needed to make channel letters. and how it is made.

Thanking you.

Joe Pelonio
09-29-2007, 6:04 PM
I'd sub that out if I were you, or by them from a place like Gemini Inc.: [/URL]http://www.signletters.com/SignComponents/signcomp.shtml (http://www.signletters.com)



You do have to be a retail sign shop to buy from them, and in most areas have to be a licensed electrical contractor to install lit channel letters. Normally I sub out the whole job, to a local neon guy, and just handle the artwork and mark it up 40-50%.

Channel letters are made by cutting and forming metal, usually aluminum, or in some case formed plastic polymer. The acrylic face is added, along with an edge cap molding, and light, normally neon tube is put inside to light them up. The lighting is optional, of course. The only part that can be made with a laser is the face, basically what you are doing now but mostly 3-4mm acrylic.

sunil jain
09-30-2007, 8:31 AM
Thanks Joe,

I mean custom fabricated channel letters made by bending 3/4 mm acrylic sheet.

Can you tell me the process of bending acrylic along the boundaries of letters.

c:\channel letters.jpg

Thanking you

sunil jain
09-30-2007, 8:34 AM
Sorry i made mistake to attach the image.

Here i am sending once again

Joe Pelonio
09-30-2007, 1:08 PM
Sorry, I do not know anyone that has done that, all the plastic ones I have seen have all been formed or extruded, not bent. I know to to bend acrylic with a heater strip but that wouldn't work on letters like S or O.

That company whose letters you show had several locations near here. When they started their signs done by the neon company I work with, and they have always used aluminum for them. Also, I know that the channel letters that franchise sells are aluminum.

sunil jain
10-01-2007, 12:31 AM
I belive I am not so strong in english but i think i can explain my thoughts. So forgive me for my language.

Thanks for your reply.


Kindly refer the above link. They write that they make "hande-made" 3d letters. In my place also, people make hand made 3d letters by bending 2mm to 4 mm acrylic sheet.

So how they do that.

Any one in forum can help me.


Scott Shepherd
10-01-2007, 9:58 AM
My guess is that anyone who says they hand make them, hand make a lot of them, therefore they have tools and machinery that allows them to make those letters fairly easily. However, making a one off batch with no fixtures or tooling for doing it would probably be a very expensive venture.

By "Hand Made", my guess would be that means that they heat the cut plastic for the letter, put it in a press or a fixture and bend it to the required shape. They would do that for all the pieces needed and then adhere them together.

sunil jain
10-03-2007, 12:05 AM


Can you tell me in detail what type of machinery and fixtures are required. Also if any link awailable where i can get about the manufacturing of 3d signage in detail.

Scott Shepherd
10-03-2007, 11:19 AM
I can't tell you that, sorry. I haven't been around a lot of plastic fabrication, but I have been around a load of metal fabrication. My guess is that have custom made various letters in various stages, all various sizes, that they heat the plastic and form it around. It's something that would take years of experience and building up a library of letters and fixtures.

I'd spend more time trying to find someone else to make them rather than trying to tool it up myself. You could easily spend a small fortune designing and making fixtures, and without a huge volume in them, and I do mean huge, I would suspect you'd have a hard time ever making that investment back.

Wish I could help more, but I can tell you that it would be very expensive to tool up to do that type of work. Easily over $100,000. Easily over that amount, in my opinion.