corporate event large 3D letters

kicknargel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Denver, CO
I get requests all the time for large (4'+) dimensional letters for corporate events. I almost never win the jobs based on cost. Yet I know people are doing these which leads me to wonder if I'm over-complicating them somehow when I bid. Anyone have experiences / best practices with them?

Methods I've considered:
  • CNC cut foam. But what kind of hard coat that's not super expensive (epoxy coatings) or super time-consuming to apply / sand to very smooth finish (foam coat)?
  • CNC cut MDF fronts and back with foam sandwiched in the middle. Nice front surface, but still a lot of time to assemble and treat the edges

  • IMG_20180822_070654.jpg
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Depends on whether or not they are going to be reused or be a one off.
Me? I'd probably do foam and laminate and use laminate or vinyl for the edge banding. Use 30NF or some other foam safe contact adhesive.
 

MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
maybe I'm not fully understanding your situation, but I'm not sure what could be overly complicated, time consuming, or expensive about this particular example. Looks to be about a days work and not a lot of material/time? I'm guessing you have access to a cnc machine, but preparing materials and resources for the cnc might be getting in your way the most?
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
If you are charging more than this per letter this is why they say no.


That was 2 seconds of amazon search.
 
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kicknargel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Denver, CO
Depends on whether or not they are going to be reused or be a one off.
Me? I'd probably do foam and laminate and use laminate or vinyl for the edge banding. Use 30NF or some other foam safe contact adhesive.
Hm, yeah, I hadn't really thought of edge banding that way. Styrene might work also. Thanks.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
@dvsDave: That posting continues to render -- as all Amazon postings have done for me since the upgrade -- as an unclickable Amazon logo; does it work for you?
Can you take a picture of what your link looks like. Cause on mobile it works just fine for me to touch it.
 
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gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
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Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
This is the bread and butter of where I work. You’ve pretty much nailed it in your initial thoughts, we use a CNC hot wire to cut letters out of large EPS foam billets, and then leave them raw for one offs, or for longer lasting product, we then coat that foam in a two part polyurethane hard coat. Building said letters out of wood would cost more in time and labor than just using foam.

Cutting out raw letters is fairly quick, but sometimes we then spend weeks with orbital sanders and body fillers to provide a seamless, smooth finish.
 
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Jay Ashworth

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Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
And here is Mobile, on a current version of Opera Mobile on Android on Wi-Fi on Charter Spectrum Tampa:

Well, a moment ago before the user interface ran away on me, I had the insert an image button. Now it's grayed out. Let me try it as a separate post.
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
Nope, something that I did that I have no idea what it is made the message editor in the mobile browser suddenly have nothing but the settings button available to me and I cannot post in what the image looks like here. Maybe I can do it from my desktop. Let me check.
 

Jay Ashworth

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Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
St Pete FL USA
It appears the message editor inserts the picture you ask, and then places a dialog under it with a thumbnail, and buttons for Thumbnail and Full Image...

which *appears* to be a selector, but in fact allows you to insert the same fullsize image *a second time without telling you*.

I'm gonna go ahead and say, @dvsDave, that that UI is pretty confusing... :-}
 

Ancient Engineer

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Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Location
Sandusky, Ohio
We are too old school apparently....

Cardboard patterns on Clark foam then old-skool hot wire by hand (What!?!?!?).

Then we either use good ol' bondo to fill the gaps, sand, and paint or just epoxy paint.

Depends on the distance to the observer...
 
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Ben Stiegler

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Aug 3, 2017
Location
Sf Bay Area
as long as your client is ok with the 1 font offered on Amazon, and understands it requires shop assembly once the kits arrive, maybe that's ok. If they like their *own* font, tho ... and if you're throwing a bash like the one pictured, I bet it matters ...then ye olde shoppe is back in the full-fab game again.
 
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Ancient Engineer

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Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Location
Sandusky, Ohio
Well. It appears that my data is "old", just like me.



But then who is this??


No idea.


What I probably should have said was: "Polyurethane foam slabs", instead of "Clark foam", which until 15 years ago was a ubiquitous term.

I am very old.

Sorry.
 

kicknargel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Denver, CO
Then we either use good ol' bondo to fill the gaps, sand, and paint or just epoxy paint.
Epoxy paint is a good idea worth an experiment. Might get it to flow well enough to be smooth without too much sanding.