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Nov 05, 2019

CNC Lettering Software

CNC is part of the manufacturing sector. Through computer-aided design, cutting machines create a wide range of products in many materials. The ease and flexibility of a CNC router lets technicians fabricate two and three-dimensional letters, signs, print-to-cut graphics in materials ranging from acrylics to wood to precious metals.

lettering software

What is a CNC Machine?

Professional sign makers use a CNC Router coupled with CNC lettering software. A traditional router can cut or shape using a bit attached to a spindle. The router is driven by a motor at a speed exceeding 10,000 RPM.

Before computer-aided design, routers were operated manually to shape the edge of the material being used. Routers might be handheld or mounted to a router table.

Thanks to modern technology, the CNC routing machine allows designers to create eye-catching signs not possible using more traditional sign-making techniques.

Controlled by a computer using CNC lettering software, the router mounted on a large router table can move in all three dimensions. Using software instructions, this machine automatically cuts out sign parts.

This computer-guided machine can work with several materials including:

One of the strengths of CNC Routers is its ability to work with a wide variety of sign making materials. These include:

  • Acrylic and Plastics
  • Foamboard
  • Aluminum and other non-ferrous materials
  • Hardwood
  • Plywood
  • Wood composites
  • Polycarbonate materials like Lexan

When the product has been cut, pneumatic drills can produce holes for mounting. High-performance cameras mounted on the head ensure the accuracy of print and cut tools.

The CNC Router, controlled by a computer-aided design program is supervised by a skilled CNC Operator.

sign making software

What is CNC Lettering Software?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) software is specially designed to create a lettering product plan which is then sent to the cutting machines.

CNC software has been in existence since the 1970s. However, new applications have allowed it to be linked to cutting machines.

CNC software program codes and instructions run a machine tool controlled by a computer. A technician uses the software to create a design and a machine technician is on standby for troubleshooting during the cutting process.

How Do CNC Machines Work?

Using CNC machines, sign makers can create highly accurate and original designs and letters in many materials. Thanks to CNC machines, new styles of signs are now possible.

Here’s how it works. A sign designer at his/her computer workstation creates an original design or uses one of the thousands of those included in the CNC software program.

The completed design is sent to the CNC Router. The router operator uses the machine cut letters or designs or shapes from whatever material the design specifications indicate. The CNC Router does just what the program design tells it to do. If the design is well thought out, the completed project is done correctly, efficiently and with minimal wasted labor and materials.

types of lettering

Types of CNC Lettering

With CNC lettering software, you are limited only by your imagination and your ability to use the computer program.


CNC lettering software can create a design that a router then uses to do precise engraving of letters, designs, and artwork. CNC software and the correct setting up the engraving tool path creates intricate products on a wide variety of materials. Etching might be done on aluminum, wood, precious metal trays, cups, crystal, jewelry or other material.


The most popular use of CNC lettering is to produce letters that are pressed into a material like acrylic, wood, aluminum or wood derivatives and then popped out of the background to be used as signs. Cutouts might also be part of indoor or outdoor décor.

Scrolled lettering

Forget the tedious work of creating the scroll lettering directly on the material. Thanks to CNC lettering software, your scroll saw can be directed by CNC software to create a scrollwork sign or interior decoration.

Uses of CNC Lettering

CNC signs can serve many purposes:

  • Advertising your business
  • Enticing prospective clients to enter and browse
  • Safety messages, exit signs, safe evacuation routes, medical stations, areas to avoid, hazardous materials, detours, hospital and police station signs
  • Information: Building layout, directory, office doors, elevator and stairs signs

Acrylic letters can be cut to any size, color, and style. Business signs can be created so customers are attracted to that restaurant, café, dress shop, a copy shop or shoe store. Once the letters are secured, LED lighting can be added behind letters. When projected through acrylic letters, the sign lights up like a beacon for clients.

Interior signs can caution workers, illuminate exits, or lead customers to the department they want.

CNC lettering can create all types and sizes of electric signs. These can be illuminated either internally or externally. What a great way to identify your company. You can create individually lit neon signs, LED signs and even lighted sign cabinets.

CNC Lettering Challenges

Although CNC lettering software is user friendly the directions and design commands it sends to the router are only as good as the software technician.

Other problems can also present themselves. Perhaps the cutting tools used in the router are old, outdated, dull, damaged, malfunctioning, or faulty.

Materials used to create the signs can also be a problem. Although CNC designs will work on many materials, it could be that the designer or machine operator did not choose the most appropriate material to create the sign.

Plant conditions can also be a challenge. The workplace could be too hot or cold or too dusty for the ideal use of the cutting machinery.

cnc lettering software

Why SAi EnRoute?

Why choose SAi EnRoute CNC lettering software? Our user-friendly computer-aided-design software helps you create unique signs for your customers. Our software has tons of capabilities. This allows a novice designer to grow with the program. Our software will link with the routers, plasma, waterjet and laser cutters of most companies so when you buy SAi EnRoute CNC lettering software you won’t have to replace the machines you have.

Our CNC machining software design applications can be used in everyday cutting products, nested-based production, and unique design projects. We specialize in signs ranging from simple one-color to highly intricate multi-colored designs in a wide range of materials.

If you are looking for a print and cut solution, our software can print and cut vinyl whether you are a beginner or an experienced CNC lettering designer. EnRoute is compatible with most print and cut tools.

For more information on SAi CNC lettering software and how we can help you make signage that stands out.


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