Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Inlaying Applique Letters?

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by diverscott, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. diverscott

    diverscott Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    ocala, fl
    We've got a customer who doesn't want our typical surface-applied applique letters, but, instead, wants them inlaid about 1/32 in. into the substrate. I ran a few sample fonts (rounded and standard corners) through the router and we end up having problems with the rounding of corners when the 1/16" bit makes offset and fill passes. Is there a special font, bit, or technique that I can use to make sure the cut out applique letter will drop cleanly and (fairly) snugly into a routed letter character? (Maybe something like a "Male" and "Female" design to the font??)

    Typical problems include interior cuts of letters, like "A", "B", etc... , as well as joined 90 degree corners like on the arms of an "E" or "F".

  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    yeah, we have the same problem with male/female cuts... corner radius' have to match the router bit. We don't have a favorite font to use in these instances, but every time there is just some "clean-up" work before the routing process: rounding the corners by hand in illustrator.

    timesaver would be using the "Offset Path" option and select the Round option for corners. Then i just offset path by X and then offset the new path by -X and it removes all of your sharp points.
    Just make sure you sell your customer on your rounded letters first :)
  3. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

    May 5, 2005
    You could do the tricky bits by hand. Change the files to leave the parts it has trouble with and clean it up with a chisel. Why would anyone want to inlay a letter like that? Can you explain the application better? You may get more responce. A diagram might help.
  4. diverscott

    diverscott Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    ocala, fl
    Mainly, we're setting up names at a school. They want them recessed so students can't "accidentally" pop the letters off the signs.

    We can either fully inlay the letters into the sign, or only inlay the base, which will help protect them from being popped off easily.

    I played around using the contour cut feature and was able to get some that fit fairly snugly. There are some small gaps, but they're not easy to see on first glance and might not be a problem.

    I linked a (blurry) photo. Sorry for the low quality - it's off the cell phone cam.

  5. daveb

    daveb General Know-it-all

    Feb 11, 2010
    Quincy, IL
    Artpath from Gerber has an "Auto Inlay" option, I'm the first to admit that Artpath is pretty "simplistic" compared to other programs, works perfect, rounds the corners off so the inlay fits seamlessly. I find it hard to believe the other more expensive routing programs don't. Look around, consult your manual, if you've never used it.... I know I've had duh moments when I just worked around a problem when a little reading in the instructions (I hate manuals:frustrated:) would have saved me time. Good luck.

Share This Page