Custom polycarbonate stencils are nothing new but it’s something we’ve developed internally in order to help our customers with stencils that LAST A VERY LONG TIME, are easily stored and are weather proof. Use water based paint and they are easy to clean too!
CNCROi.com has made a lot of stencils for companies and yes, individuals, around the world. A common issue that use to come-up with our clients was that of longevity relating to production cost. We get this stuff in HUGE sheets.
Up until a few months ago, we recommended 1/8th or 1/4 inch acrylic to do the job right, the only issue is portability. Acrylic doesn’t bend very well and making large stencils meant having to break up the stencil into multiple parts.
Alternatives to acrylic was everything from cardboard through to wood depending on the application but NOTHING seemed a perfect solution to me, acrylic has some weight to it, wood bends with humidity and cardboard gets wet and is scrap in no time. I had to find a better solution to our stencil customers.
The solution? Polycarbonate stencil. Polycarbonate is 300x stronger than glass, is easy to bend, cuts very fast and is just the perfect material for this application I’ve been able to come-up with.
With compressed air, the inside parts easily blow away out-of-the-way. The polycarbonate stencil requires specialized fonts, something to keep in mind as inside parts like the “o”, “b” and so forth will be lost unless you put a bridge in your design to support them.
Although the production of polycarbonate stencils is a messy and dirty one, the results are nice and clean. Polycarbonate doesn’t like heat, it turns it black (good for our fiber laser for ultimate contrast btw) and yellow. Smells bad and the list goes on, but all this bad produces something truly perfectly optimized to stencilling.
Polycarbonate stencils can be used in a very wide array of applications, indoors and out. If this gets wet from the elements, it’s easy to dry, it won’t absorb much of anything and wipes clean.
The thickness of this polycarbonate is paper-thin but its plenty strong, you cannot rip it like paper even if you tried your hardest. It does bend but wraps like a tube in no time without damaging the stencil in any way. Like paper, it’s incredibly light weight as well.
How do you go about getting a custom CNC’ed stencil from the experts at CNCROi.com? It’s pretty easy. You first contact us and send over the design, we then give you a quote and after payment, the stencil is made and shipped out the next day. That’s as straight forward as it can be!
The next question you may have, how accurate are the custom polycarbonate stencils we produce and how repeatable is the cutting? Happy you asked, our industrial wide-format Austrian CNC laser has an accuracy of 5 microns, that’s so tight that if you saw two dots, five microns apart, you’d be hard pressed to see them as two dots instead of one.
If you tried cutting this with any other technology, from CNC orbital knives to routers, you wouldn’t be able to achieve this level of detail and precision as the paper would be very tough to get through.
As mentioned earlier, the results of the polycarbonate cutting look very ugly and rough, but they clean-up very good. VERY GOOD. Compare the before and after in the picture below and see for yourself the results.
Looking for custom expertly cut stencils? CNCROi.com is here to help you and the nice thing about these stencils, most can be done within 24 hours turnaround depending on how busy the shop is and how fast you need them for. Contact us today.