Phill Fenton didn’t aim to be a pioneer. He just wanted to help his daughter. But he stumbled on a big idea. An idea that might make your channel letter machine obsolete in a few years.
Phill owns The Right Signs in Scotland. He bought a small 3D printer, and when his daughter wasn’t using it, he tried 3D printing built-up letters to make a sign. It worked! He even added illumination. Today, much larger 3D printers produce entire signs in one go.
Imagine the life-changing, revenue-building implications for sign fabricators, print service providers, and entrepreneurs worldwide!
Produce Channel Letters 10X Faster
Producing channel letters is painstaking work. It doesn’t matter if you are in Scotland, Southern India, or the States, the process is pretty much the same. Certain technology might make heating, bending, and shaping the metal easier, but the work is still tedious. It’s still time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.
Creating channel letter signs does not have to be time-consuming!
Large format 3D printers, like the Massivit 1500 or Massivit 1800, can print a sturdy, lightweight channel letter sign in just a few hours. Imagine a client ordering a cutting-edge sign on Monday and being able to deliver it on Tuesday. What store owner would not be happy to see their name in lights sooner rather than later?
3D Design Simplifies Channel Letter Construction
3D printing turns the various and necessary calibrations into computer keystrokes. Choose the font. Punch in the letter height, return depth, and thickness. Don’t worry about the trim cap because that’s not needed since 3D printing produces the face and the return as one unit.
You’ll still have to decide how the letters will be mounted. 3D printing the back is as simple as copying and pasting the face, but depending on the application or installation process, you can opt for CNC to create the back.
3D Printing Makes Curves, Right Angles & Complex Designs Easy
A channel letter bending machine is helpful in conventional fabrication. A 3-in-1 bender is even better. But digital 3D design software gives you freedom that conventional fabrication can’t even dream of.
You can design patterns and textures on the return. You can create the return slanted for an amazing shadow effect. Let’s see a CNC machine try making slanted letters! Right angles, curves, and complex logos are no problem. The image on the screen is what comes out of the printer.
Brand managers and store owners love to display their logos, and now Massivit 3D enables you to incorporate the logo with the built-up letters (and mascot or branded item for that matter).
Less Manpower Needed
Even with the best channel letter machine and technology, the work is still very hands-on. 3D printing frees up a lot of this manpower and the reliance on one sculptor’s skill set. You will still need a fabricator to assemble some pieces, like the back if you are using LEDS, as well as the lights themselves.
Plus, a fabricator will add the finishing touches. (See below.)
You’ll also need a designer to take the original photo, file, or instructions from the client to create the digital file. 3D printing makes manufacturing channel letters more of a digital process.
That dramatically reduces the risk of:
- Missing deadlines,
- and any other limitations we humans bring to the work floor.
3D Printed Channel Letters Require Fewer Tools
3D printing channel letters means no more shimmies, tinsnips, and blowtorches. And of course, no more channel letter bender. When you 3D print the letters, they come out fully-formed. You’ll still need to do your magic with a quick paint job or a vinyl finish, but 3D printing will get you to this final stage much faster. It will also help you elevate your business’ design capability and offering to a higher level.
With 3D printing, you can conceptualize a logo from scratch. The software frees you to employ unusual shapes, crazy tight curves, cursive letters, and complex designs. What is on the screen is what you get from the 3D printer. If a client gives you the file, you’ll be able to deliver exactly what they want.
Channel letters are everywhere.
Trade Shows: Incorporating illuminated channel letters into trade show booths or exhibitions can be an attractive and powerful way to advertise a company’s name or better, the company’s unique benefit. Just boil the benefit down to one or two words and hang them up with lights.
Malls: If you go into a mall, every store has a sign. And if the store changes, the next store will have a sign. How many malls are near you? How many stores are in each mall?
3D Printing Channel Letters: The Key Takeaways
3D printing channel letters, specifically with Massivit 3D printers, provides much greater creativity and dramatically reduces the time from design to delivery. Using the “Swiss-Army knife” of large format 3D printers, you can 3D print a point of sale display for a shoe store in the morning, break for lunch, and 3D print a channel letter sign for a bank in the afternoon. Plus, the technology lets you incorporate complex designs, slanted letters, patterns on the returns, and of course, illumination. That’s the freedom of large format 3D printing.
To learn more or to find out how to incorporate 3D printing in your current business, contact us.