The Essential Equipment Guide for the Modern Sign Maker


Looking to get into the sign-making business? If you are, then good news! With a steadily growing industry and the economy reopening, now is the best time to enter the sign industry. According to Mordor Intelligence, the sign industry is set to see steady growth through 2026. This growth is attributed to the increasing customer demand and technical innovation.

When kickstarting your own wayfinding signage business, keep in mind that having the most advanced and up-to-date photopolymer equipment is essential to be successful. This will increase your revenue, speed up your workflow, and reduce risks associated with manufacturing signage. To help you find and choose the right equipment, we’ve put together a list of the key equipment you need to manufacture ADA photopolymer signs and streamline sign production to save time and money.

Inkstar3 Printable Film Solution with Canon TM-200 Printer

The Ink Star Film Solution (24″ x 100′) allows for quick printing of high-quality film negatives. It is essential for photopolymer processing and screen printing. Film negatives need the correct density or you either get a light positive (over-exposed) or dark positive (under-exposed) sign panel. This needs to be avoided as the result will either be too dark and grainy or too ‘washed out.’ Your business will benefit from investing in this equipment as it saves time and produces excellent results. We recommend the Canon TM-200 24” Single Roll Printer. With a maximum resolution of 2400×1200 dpi and fast printing speeds of 114 D-sized prints per hour, this Canon printer is best used for creating high-quality signs, displays, and graphics. Its UV and water-resistant inks add a level of protection that can persevere any type of outdoor condition.

Orbital-X-2020-Right-FacingOrbital X Photopolymer Processor

The Orbital X Photopolymer Processor is an all-in-one photopolymer processing unit specially designed to fabricate water-washable photopolymer signs and produce high-quality presses of photo negatives. The water-wash processing method combines excellent plate quality with low maintenance, making it cost-effective for any signage business.

Additionally, this processor is an essential piece of equipment in the sign-making process as it uses UV light exposure to impose the negative onto the photopolymer. Once this exposure is completed, the sign panel is process washed with tap water giving you a sign that is ready for cutting and painting. The Orbital X features an orbital washout made from stainless steel, an exposure section, a three-draw dryer, and a post-exposure section. With these features, it is possible to output up to 420 8×8 signs in one shift. Not only that but it also has safety features such as ‘ground fault’ protection, safety switches for U.V lamps, and fuses for some of the components. An efficient and smooth washout is guaranteed thanks to the dual orbit-action platen.

Accucutter Tabletop Shear

The Accucutter Tabletop Shear offers the accuracy and strength of a large commercial guillotine on a smaller scale. This shear is crucial for sign making since it makes cutting more efficient, but still cost-effective, as outsourcing or tying up your router will not be needed for most sign packages. In a signage business, shears are essential because signs need to be cut down to size after exposure. These shears are designed to industry-standard plastics and Novacryl photopolymer in sheets up to 1/8″ thick. The shears consistently produce a finished edge when cutting photopolymer. Additionally, at only 25″ in size, this tabletop shear does not take up any valuable space in the workshop.

With the Accucutter Tabletop Shear, you can achieve an increase in productivity and efficiency because of its stable and sturdy features, as well as a decrease in materials wasted.

Nova-Polymers-HS-1276-Hot-StamperNP HS-1276 Hot Stamp

The NP HS-1276 Hot Stamp instantly applies color and metallic effects to painted or unpainted photopolymer. This piece of equipment produces stunning graphics and is essential for adding color to raised characters. This hot stamp differs from others because of its high-quality construction. Its coil heating element ensures level temperature across the entire heated platen, and its vulcanized 70 durometer silicone pad provides level foil transfer to irregular surfaces.

With the NP HS-1276, you will never need to worry about clean-up time – just clean the surface with a cleaning brush and you’re good to go. Additionally, when it comes to the installation, there are no worries there either. Just place it on the workspace and follow the simple instruction manual.


Having a sink in your workspace is required for sign-making. It is needed for rinsing processed photopolymer sheets and for cleaning brushes and other equipment. Make sure that your workstation sink has both a hot water and cold water inlet. Depending on what you are cleaning, hot or cold water is needed to remove paint and other things from photopolymer sheets.

Your Photopolymer Equipment Partner

Finding the right equipment can be time-consuming and costly; however, you do not have to go about this alone. You can partner with a company that provides the best equipment in the industry and works directly with you to optimize your workflows and streamline production. Above all, partnering with a photopolymer equipment partner can offer guidance to help you achieve your business goals and objectives.

See how the right photopolymer equipment partner can go beyond your equipment needs through software installation and training opportunities for your entire team.

Key Takeaways

Obtaining the right photopolymer equipment is essential for the success of your wayfinding signage business. Signage businesses that stay up-to-date with the most advanced technologies and equipment will be able to stay above the competition, with enhanced production processes.

Nova Polymers is a global leader in the development of materials and processing equipment for the fabrication of ADA-compliant signage. We provide continuous education on the development of innovative materials that meet your business needs so that your company can grow and prosper. For more details about our equipment services, contact us today.

Request A FREE Sample of Novacryl

Please fill out the form below to get a FREE Novacryl sample kit for your next ADA Sign Project.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Live Chat