4D number plates are the next generation of number plate designs. They’re different from 3D number plates, but they have a similar visual flair and impact.

Who Makes 4D Number Plates?

You can order your 4D number plate from a specialist supplier. They will make your plate to order, using laser-cutting technology.

To order a 4D number plate you’ll need a vehicle registration. Typically, this will be a personalised number plate.

Once you have this registration, you can choose your number plate design.

What Are 4D Number Plates?

Like 3D plates, 4D number plates stand out on the background car registration plate. But while 3D plate characters and numerals are made from raised gel, on a 4d plate they’re made from acrylic.

4D characters and numerals are sharper-edged and more angular than their gel counterparts.

They look highly individual and make your number plate stand out. This makes them perfect for private plates.

Think of a 4D plate as a personally crafted number plate for your vehicle.

How to Make 4D Plates

Acrylic is an excellent signage material. It’s durable and water-resistant, making it ideal for use on vehicles. It is a synthetic, plastic compound, mainly made from derivatives of acrylic acid. It is a polymer. Polymers form when you expose acrylic acid to a catalyst.

Manufacturers can synthesise these acrylic polymers into many different acrylic products. The most popular of these is polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA.

PMMA is strong but flexible. It is easy to cut, trim and mould. It is perfect for making number plates.

Under regulations for number plate manufacturing, plates should be retroreflective.

Retroreflection takes place when a surface sends a large proportion of directed light back to its source.

This action makes retroreflective materials appear brightest to people looking at them who are themselves closest to a light source.

Therefore, if you’re a motorist driving at night, your headlights will pick up the details of the vehicle’s number plate in front of you.

The same principle applies to high vis jackets and coats. They contain retroreflective materials to make the wearer more visible in the dark.

Acrylic number plates have this essential retroreflective quality.

For making 4D plates, manufacturers use thick, pre-laminated flat sheets, usually pre-coloured to provide the right front and back number plate backgrounds.

Next, the specific characters and numerals for the plate must be laser cut ready for mounting on the backplate.

Laser Cutting 4D Plates

The individual identifying letters and numbers on a 4D plate must be laser cut out of acrylic material.

These characters will come from a template, to ensure complete consistency in their finished appearance.

The cutting process involves a laser beam melting the edges of the acrylic. This produces a flame-polished edge to the characters. Generally, the optimum results come from cutting at a relatively slow speed with high power.

The laser-cut characters have a thickness that is roughly the same as that of the backing plate. Therefore, when they are mounted on the plate, they will be raised up off it, standing out in relief.

The characters are stuck onto the plate with a very firm adhesive tape that meets stringent industry standards. This ensures that the 4D numbers cannot fall off the plate.

How Do You Buy a 4D Number Plate?

Most people with 4D number plates will have a personalised number plate first. This makes sense since personalised plates give your vehicle an added air of individuality.

By choosing to have your personalised plate in 4D, you’re making it even more of a signature statement.

Therefore, a crucial first stage in getting a 4D plate is to apply for a private registration number.

The DVLA holds regular auctions of personalised plates.

Then it’s all about choosing your number plate design. We’ve made the whole process straightforward with our online plate builder.

You can browse our collection to see what kind of 4D plate designs are available.

You must make sure your choice of 4D plate design meets current regulatory British Standards. You don’t want to attract a fine for having illegal plates.

Talk to Us About Your 4D Number Plate

For advice on choosing your number plate design and exploring your options, please call us on 01204 534 333 or email [email protected]