The insulation foam on top, combined with the smoke machine, make for some nice touches.

Featured Project: Brewing Up a 3D Coffee House Sign


This featured project was sent in by Orange, California-based Coastal Enterprises, which wanted to highlight its Precision Board HDU and some of the creative ways customers are using it.

“When Aversboro Coffee approached Steve Kolacz with (Garner, North Carolina-based)  GrafiXhouse Design Studios, they needed a 3D sign that could work both as an indoor wall sign for their business and as a trade show display,” Coastal writes. “The catch was, they only had a week to get it done, so they fabricated a dimensional sign out of Precision Board HDU, Corex and insulation foam, tossed a few lights in and a smoke machine. The result? A happy customer and a multimedia sign that doubles as a trade show display.”

The giant coffee cup sign is 6’ x 3’ and 1.5” thick.

“They were going to a trade show and wanted something they could use for the trade show and then hang on the wall,” Kolacz says. “They wanted the sign to look like their coffee cup and originally wanted it to be 360 degrees, but we only had a week.”

The main body of the cup was routed from 15-pound Precision Board HDU on their ShopBot CNC using Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk’s ArtCAM Insignia software.

According to Coastal’s description, Kolacz first scanned the client’s coffee cup sleeve, then digitally printed it and attached it to Corex. He then flipped the material so that it would bend like cardboard and put slits in to let it take more bends and curves. The Corex was then attached to the Precision Board and a red light was added behind the coffee sleeve to backlight it.

The top part of cup that appears to be a frothy foam was actually expanding insulation foam secured on top of the HDU.

To make it work as a trade show display and so that it could be hung on a wall, “I made a French cleat that could be opened up into an A-frame.” Kolacz says.

One Shot and Createx Colors airbrush paint was used for the final paint job. All told the project took about a week, including added a smoke machine discreetly so the “coffee” would appear to be steaming.

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