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V-Groove Routed Signs - How They Are Made

V-groove carving, or rather v-groove routing, is the Sign Industry term for a solid sign face with prismatic embossed graphics. Traditionally crafted by hand, technology has once again stepped in and provided a computer based solution that speeds up the process, controls accuracy, guarantees consistency over multiple units, and greatly decreased costs.

CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) Routing allows for a nice
3D alternative to traditional 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 v-groove routed sign