Using a Laser to Create a Dimensional Precision Board HDU Sign

Team Williams Printing & Signs used a laser system to cut and engrave a two-sided dimensional sign out of PBLT-15 Precision Board high-density urethane foam. See how they used a vinyl covering during the laser engraving process to preserve the white finish of the primer before painting the HDU.


Mike Williams with Team Williams Printing and Signs used their 150 watt C02 Rose Laser System to fabricate a dimensional sign out of 1″ thick sheets of 15lb Precision Board HDU.

“We’ve been doing dimensional signs with a CNC, but we decided to try using our laser,” said Williams.  “It came out good.  We were very happy with the results,” he added.

Because the sign was two-sided, they decided to cut one side, flip it over, and cut the other side.

He likes using Precision Board high-density urethane for dimensional signs.

“It’s such a lightweight product and very easy to work with.  You can also get more detail and save time using a laser over a CNC because you don’t have to change router bits.”

Williams used an interesting technique to get crisp contrasts to the colors on the signs.  He says, “first we primed the Precision Board and then put a coat of vinyl on top of it before we lasered it.” He adds, “that way we could laser cut the vinyl on top of the primer, paint a base coat over that and then peel the vinyl away to reveal the nice white color underneath.”


Mike followed that up with a coat of exterior paint.

For this first laser-engraved sign, Williams dialed his settings back a bit and took his time.  Cutting time was about 30 minutes per side with his machine running at about half speed and half power.  He cut into the Precision Board HDU to about a quarter to 3/8ths inches deep.  Once he was finished engraving, he cut the outside part down at ¾ power.  Finally, he did two passes on the final cut so that it didn’t leave a black edge on the material.


The sign was going to be installed as a hanging sign and need to withstand the high Florida winds.  Mike drilled it out and attached the hangers using hooks and chains.  He pre-drilled the holes and put in metal drywall anchors with a spot of glue.

Mike Williams tells us, “we had 60 knot winds the other day here in Florida, so I’m checking to see if the sign is still hanging!”

We’re happy to report that the Precision Board HDU sign is safe and sound and still firmly attached to the chains!

EXTRA RESOURCE: An extensive guide to Laser Engraving Precision Board HDU

Team Williams Printing and Signs is a full service sign shop in Steinhatchee, Florida, offering magnets, banners, yard signs, boat/vehicle wraps, metal signs, billboards, brochures, letter heads, envelopes, backlit signs and much more.  They can be found on Facebook or by calling (352) 398-7480.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane material used extensively in the tooling industry.  It is a closed-cell, rigid, dimensionally-stable substrate that is ideal for use in a number of different tooling applications.

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