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How to Make a Stencil

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Awesome Graphics, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Awesome Graphics

    Awesome Graphics Member

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    Sep 26, 2019
    Vermont
    Hello and thank you in advance for any tips. I have a national brewery interested in getting several reusable stencils cut. We have made large stencils out of PVC sheets in the past, but these guys want stencils with little one inch tall lettering cut out.

    One of our printers is a Roland Soljet XR-640 with vinyl die-cutting ability. I have tried sample cuts on a few materials with varying results. Typically, the materials are too thick and thus don't cut through cleanly, or they are too flexible and bunch up when die-cutting, making a mess. I tried an old rigid grayback retractable banner material, (closest to success) and a less rigid grayback material that was to soft, a non-adhesive backlit material that was too thick, some thick backing that was a bit too flexible. I'm at a loss as to what might work without chewing up my little blades.

    Recently we have gained access to a plasma cutter, but I have no clue what materials would cut cleanly on it. All I know is that I was told that certain plastics can produce a toxic gas that will kill everyone in the room. Trying to avoid that.

    Any suggestions? It is not the first time that someone has approached us about stencils. I would love to find a go to option.
     
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  2. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    Denver
    Check out Oracal translucent Stencil Films - 813 is nice - its 3 mil thick.
     
  3. Awesome Graphics

    Awesome Graphics Member

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    Sep 26, 2019
    Vermont
    Thanks you. I just looked it up. It sounds like a great option, but will the adhesion prevent repeated use over time? Will they last for multiple sprays?
     
  4. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    Denver
    Yeah you can maybe use it 3- 5 times but then loose adhesion.
     
  5. mpn

    mpn Active Member

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    Find someone with a laser
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

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    Manchester, UK
    We CNC route magnets. Works fine so find someone with a CNC router..,
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. marunr

    marunr New Member

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    Dec 14, 2018
    tulsa, ok
    You can cut Acrylic or Polycarbonate (which is more durable) on a CNC router but of course you will have a slight inside radius on your letters. You can cut Acrylic with a laser and avoid the inside radius. You can't cut polycarbonate (it will melt) or pvc (toxic) with a laser.
     
  8. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I use a stencil company, send them the file and hand it to the client
     
  9. Greg Kelm

    Greg Kelm Member

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    Aug 20, 2019
    Rancho Cucamonga
    How big is the stencil they want?
     
  10. JimmyG

    JimmyG Premium Subscriber

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    Register, GA
    Oracal 813 is only good for 1 use because there is no way to remove it after painting and keep all parts aligned properly...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. JimmyG

    JimmyG Premium Subscriber

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    Register, GA
  12. henryz

    henryz Member

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    Nov 6, 2012
    Long Beach, CA
    Styrene is a good durable thin material available in different mils, you should look into having someone laser cut if it's small lettering if not cnc router would work, but if you are talking about 1" letters you might need to do Gerber or other type of mask specially if it's an interior wall. If you have a design might want to attach it? Depending on the application a stencil might not work.
    upload_2019-12-31_13-53-3.jpeg
     
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