Hitting a Home Run with a Dimensional Sign

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to host guest blogs written by some of the signage industry’s biggest movers and shakers, posted to the Precision Board Blog.  This guest blog is written by Mo Flint with Atomic Barn Studios, based just outside of Raleigh in Willow Spring, North Carolina.  Mo takes us through the steps of designing a dimensional sign for the local athletic club and giving it a classic Americana look using Precision Board HDU and TSF-45 textured surface coating from Coastal Enterprises.

dimensional sign

In Mo’s own words…

Poor field number 3 at our local athletic association’s baseball complex has been without a sign for at least as long as my son has been playing ball there. So, when the fall season donation drive came around, we knew exactly what to contribute — a major-league worthy, classic Americana 3D sign they couldn’t get anywhere else.

I started with a few different concept sketches until the perfect design revealed itself: a slightly used baseball behind an oversized, easily visible number “3” topped with a grassy green “Field”.

With the design in hand, I set to creating a 3D model in Geomagic Freeform. The final sign would be made from three layers of 2” thick, 30-pound Precision Board HDU with steel tubes sandwiched in the center. The number “3” was hand drawn with a raised border to give it some definition. Rather than mirror the stitches for the back they were laid out to line up and flow in the same direction as the front.

dimensional sign

Texture is expected around here and this sign has it in spades. I had been wanting to try TSF-45 for some time and this was the perfect project for it. Instead of adding texture at the 3D stage, I added it to all surfaces, including the steel mounting plate and tubes, after assembly.

Once the 3D work was done, the pieces were rough cut on the CNC with a ½” ball end bit. The finish pass was cut with an X-Edge tapered bit with an 1/8ball end (XTC518) which gave ample detail. When the mounting plate was cut and welded up, it was glued in place before the whole assembly was glued, screwed and left to cure. Sculpting epoxy was used to fill screw holes and finish around mounting tubes.

dimensional sign

TSF-45 was applied directly to the Precision Board urethane foam and over primer on the steel. I used a shop-made tool to comb in the crosshatch texture. The real fun came when the glazes were applied over several layers of discreet base colors. They really add depth and character to the sign.

In the end, the installation went smoothly with two U-bolts to hold everything in place. A shop name plate painted to match the sign was added just below to wrap up the “Field 3” project. This sign will be a beacon for our athletic association’s field 3 and its all-star players for years to come.

Atomic Barn Studios is an independent theming studio specializing in unique sculptural displays and signage. With over 25 years of experience developing 3D products for the biggest names in pop culture, we can bring our unique flavor of design to your project.  You don’t have to be an amusement park titan to understand the power of 3D. Sculptural signs create a feeling that flat signs just can’t reproduce. Whether you are looking to upgrade your board room, create a photo op in your waiting area to entertain and engage your customers, or just want to add some flair outside your business, we can help you stand out from the 2D crowd.  You can email Mo Flint or give Atomic Barn Studios a call at (630) 346-4288.

Coastal Enterprises offers free samples of Precision Board HDU.  Already have a project in mind for our material?  Request a quote and get started today.  Sign up for our monthly blog roundup so you don’t miss any of our informative blogs.  Have a special project fabricated with Precision Board HDU and want to know if it could be featured in a blog on our website?  Give us a call at 800-845-0745 or drop us an email with details.  We’d love to hear from you!