model question

I need to have several models made that are simply the shape of certain letters. The models would look like extruded letters (approximately 2 to 2.5 inches thick) and the models range in height from 8 to about 13 inches tall and about 6 or 7 inches wide. I need to be able to paint the models. I need to be able to fasten the letters to a base. There are only four letters I need made.

I’m looking to have this done by something that can cut with fairly accurate precision. I first tried making the model by hand (first with foam core, then making the edges out of ilustration board) but the curves where not very precise. I then thought I’d take the time to cut it out of MDF, but I figured I’d ask if there’s a machinery that can do the job easier (and hopefully not too expensive).

Can anyone offer some advice?


You can probably get them laser cut or cut out with a CNC router, depending on the material. Router because it’s relatively thick. You’ll need to have a vector file (a .dxf, .ai, file, etc…)

this should definately be a no brainer, if you want reasonable accuracy + low cost get it laser cut out of a sheet of MDF. the only problem with this is you will get a slight concave on the cut surface as this is a thick part, however it should be minimal.


Dont want to use any fancy machines?

If you just make a print out of the letters that you need and spray glue them on a sheet of thin PS board (1mm), you can cut it whit a exacto knife. Make 2 PS letters so you got a base and a top sheet, then you take your foam and make a core that is just a little bit smaler then the PS letters. To finish the edge you take filler (2 component Bondo or something simular) and sand it to finish.

nice and smooth solid letters without the fancy laser cutters or cnc mills. If you can use those machines, I will recomend them but now you got an alternative

Good luck


so, if i go the CNC/laser cutter route, what material would be best? MDF? Or is there some kind of inexpensive composite that could be used?

Also, where would I find a local company to do something like this? I live in Phoenix and would prefer to have the company in the area. If not Phoenix, then Los Angeles could be doable…anyone know of companies in either of those cities that could do this kind of work?

Thanks again for the information.

sign makers can do this for you, call ahead and tell them you’re a student and they wont charge you much. bring a cad file (dxf r12 to be sure) on a disc. i’d go for the smaller factories first.