We have been producing our own templates for over 10 years. We work with laser cutting , CNC cutting and Water Jet cutting companies depending on the size of the templates and materials needed.
We can help you produce your own templates from your own digital files or design digital files for you. Keep in mind that it generally takes 5-7 working days to produce templates. Often we can produce them quicker but rush charges may apply depending on the work load of our partners.
Click here to download a small guide that explains how files will need to be prepared in order for them to cut properly.
Laser cutting is ideal for templates that have a lot of small details. The laser beam is very small and therefore can cut extremely fine details. Laser cutters can cut a wide variety of materials including a few eco-friendly materials such as Sizopreg PLA - a composite of jute and bio-plastics.
The selection of eco-friendly sheet materials is limited for laser cutters because the laser burns through the material releasing toxic gases and melting instead of cutting the material cleanly. Many plastic materials can be recycled but often the original sheets are made from virgin materials (fossil fuels).
Laser cutters can also cut materials made out of wood such as plywood and MDF board.
The size of templates that can be cut using a laser cutter can be limited by the size of the laser cutter. Our laser cutting partner works with a machine that has a live cutting area or 130x80 cm. It is possible to cut larger templates by piecing them together like a puzzle.
A computer numerical control (CNC) cutter is a computer-controlled cutting machine that uses a variety of cutting heads to cut different materials. We work with a partner that has one that is able to cut materials that are 3 meters wide by an almost unlimited length.
Keep in mind that you will need to transport your templates so your templates will need to fit inside a vehicle. Thinner materials can be rolled up making them easier to transport.
The advantages of CNC cutting are the sizes of templates you can produce and the large variety of materials including many eco-friendly materials
The disadvantage is in cutting highly detailed templates as the cutting head often over-cuts where two cuts meet weakening the template.
Water Jet cutting
Water jet cutters use water pushed at extremely high pressure through a hole cut out of a diamond and a little bit of sand. Water jet cutters can easily cut through 20 cm of aluminium and very thick sheets of steel.
Using metal templates may seem like overkill as you do not need the strength of metal for any natural media technique. However, when working with water based paints, a metal template will allow you to use high heat to dry the paint saving you time and increasing the quality of your work.
Metal templates are also works of art and can be given to clients after the campaign is complete to be be used as signage or wall art. We have even worked with artist who placed their signatures on the templates so they could be sold to help pay for the templates.