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How CNC Channel Cut Signs Are Made

CNC carving, or routing, is the process of embossing a solid sign face with graphics. Much like the sandblasting process, CNC 'hog-out' routing allows for either the graphics OR the background to be recessed into the sign face.

Sandblasted signs have a texture, and CNC 'hog-out' routing has a smooth surface. Multiple depth levels are easily achieved in your custom signage.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Routing allows for smooth
surface 3D graphics unlike textured Sandblasted Signs.


Computer files are supplied by you, the customer, or are created in-house by our design department. The files are saved in "vector" format which means that the letters and shapes are created using a series of paths and nodes that the CNC router can interpret.

how they are made vector artwork


The material is CNC cut to exact shape, creating the "Sign Blank." The sign blank then goes through a three stage priming and sanding process. Then, what will be the final background color is applied in our spray booth. After ample cure time, we then apply an adhesive film or 'mask' over the entire top surface to protect the sign blank.

how they are made sign blank prep


The masked sign blank is mounted on one of our CNC router tables, which vacuums it in place for perfect accuracy. From there, the CNC table interprets g-code produced by the design computer and performs all CNC routing tasks.

The CNC router bit cuts through the protective film, exposing the raw sign blank material below. Once the CNC Machine is complete, we then spray the entire surface with three coats of primer to seal the exposed areas. Once that step is fully cured, we then apply all colors to the graphic elements (why we needed the protective film). After all this is done and allowed ample time to dry, we remove the protective film, revealing a beautiful dimensional sign.

picture of finished cnc routed sign