CNC laser cutting custom paper stencils are easy for us, we do the same using polycarbonate, acrylic, cardboard and just about anything else here at CNCROi.com. Today though, we’ll focus on custom paper stencils.
Paper is a wonderful material, looking at old blog posts, you’ve seen us cut through a wide variety of textured, colored and various thicknesses all with precise results thanks to our Austrian industrial wide-format CNC laser.
The advantage of custom paper stencils are that they can be cut very fast with no pre or post processing required. The material itself is available just about anywhere and it’s affordable all around compared to, say, doing the same out of 1/4″ plywood.
One aspect of stencils that I tell customers who use our professional laser cutting services for these related applications is to use a font that is optimized for stencils, so the inside of “b”, “o” and so forth aren’t “lost” but held in. This also means a design that needs segments holding the inner parts, if some are there, so they don’t fall out after production.
How often can a stencil be used? Well, this is material dependent. I think thin paper will be along the lines of cardboard, this is why it’s vital you tell us (we’ll ask anyhow) what you plan on stenciling and what type of environment it will be applied in. The last thing you want is to bring a paper stencil for use on an exterior wall when it’s raining.
How much precision can we achieve laser cutting custom stencils regardless of material? Although its variable based on material thickness and density, basically, we blow away any other technology that’s capable of producing stencils. Waterjets are awesome but you can’t use paper with them… there is no other technology that allows you the versatility of having identical or serialized stencils like our Austrian CNC laser.
What happens to all the inside parts? Generally, they go into the fire pit out back from the shop to be enjoyed during an evening or recycled… depends on the material. How long can these paper ones last as they are? As long as they don’t get humidity on them, I don’t think they have a shelf life that’s measured in months but years.
Just to show you the versatility of our process, we can use ANY paper, magazine glossy paper, newspaper, wrapping paper… even “homemade” paper. How is the edge quality? Well, it doesn’t look burned (material depending), just a straight cut like you’d get using a knife or scissors to cut it. The advantage we have is we can do details that are impossible using any other automated or manual system – even dies can’t match us – in record time.
An added benefit of our process is whether all your designs are the same or different, it makes NO DIFFERENCE TO US. We are a custom CNC shop, so if you needed, for instance, 24 paper greeting cards of one design, 12 of another, 834 of yet another but with custom stenciled names for each. NO PROBLEM!
The fine dust you see in the above picture is just that, dust. It comes right off after a small spray of compressed air. The power of our industrial CNC laser regarding repeatability is 15 addressable nanometers and 5 nanometers initial, in plain English, this means that your stuff will be DEAD ON across a variety of materials.
You may be wondering what the caveats are for stenciling beyond having a design compatible with this process to begin with. There are none. We do a lot of custom stencils across a variety of materials and applications. The one issue we sometimes have are with LARGE stencils, we can accommodate a meter wide by as long as you want, the problem is generally at the other end as customers are surprised at how much work is involved with actually filling in such a large stencil.
It’s one thing to make a drawing that calls for a stencil that’s a meter wide by 4 meters long, it’s quite another to have it in front of you with a spray can and realizing how much work it will be to fill it up! What we do for come customers is break them down a bit, meaning instead of one massive stencil sheet, it’s made-up of individual units, this allows for easier transport and set-up.
How small can we go with stencils? As small as you want. The custom paper stencils in these pictures are business card sized but we can go far smaller… microscopic even, but then you have to wonder, what’s the point of doing a stencil nobody will see.
Big or small custom stencils, CNCROi.com can help you across a variety of materials! From paper though polycarbonate, wood through acrylic… contact us for all your custom stencil needs!