How five shops have benefited by investing in cutters and routers
By Jake Widman
One project Merrick recently produced with the M3000 was a four-foot-high sign for an organization that manages company cafeterias for several corporations located in New England. The resulting sign looks like three sheets of wood stacked on a blue oval, but “it’s all one piece,” explains Merrick, “except the words Center Stage are on 3/16-inch brushed aluminum-faced acrylic, and the Epicurean Feast logo is printed in 6mm white PVC. They’re glued to the face of the sign.”
The background image—the three “sheets of wood” and the blue oval—was printed with the Fujifilm Acuity onto a rectangular piece of 6mm PVC. Merrick then used the Gerber M3000 to cut around the edges of the image to complete the illusion of separate pieces. The black frames are actually hinged pieces of transparent polycarbonate, behind which the company can slip pieces of paper with menus, specials, and so on.
Besides specific projects such as the Center Stage sign, Merrick also cites the ability the cutter gives him to make his own shipping boxes and display easels. “That’s a tremendous advantage,” he says.
Big Mountain Imaging: Last-minute Adjustments
Big Mountain Imaging (www.bigmountain.com) started in Philadelphia a little more than 10 years ago. “We began as a grand-format facility with two Vutek 5300s,” recalls president Jason Cardonick. “We were mainly producing billboards for casino clients in Atlantic City. That’s an industry for which speed is a critical component of their buying decisions. At the time, our client was buying from a company on the West Coast that wasn’t able to meet their same-day, next-day needs. From there we were able to pick up some additional casino accounts, and became at one point the primary billboard printer for every casino in Atlantic City.”
The billboards eventually led to other requests. “The casinos kept asking us if we could make other things, such as posters and light boxes and slot machine displays,” says Cardonick. “Of course we said, ‘yes’—you don’t say no to a client. So we continued to buy additional equipment and increasing our capabilities increased so we could service their needs.” The company now employs about 80 people in production facilities in Philadelphia and Las Vegas and has sales facilities in several other cities as well.