3D number plates are made from gel resin on acrylic backgrounds. The numbers and letters are raised off the surface, giving them a three-dimensional effect. The finishing on the characters is shiny, making them even more distinctive.
What is a 3D Number Plate?
A 3D number plate is a number plate manufactured from acrylic with polyurethane resin characters. This casting resin consists of a resin and a hardener. The resin undergoes a chemical reaction and then hardens.
To get the characters for a number plate, we laser cut them out of a sheet, then cover this template with the resin to create the numbers and letters. To finish the characters properly, we bake them in a low-grade oven then allow them to cool.
The process of creating these characters is known as doming because the characters are raised from the surface of the plate.
Once the characters are ready to apply to the acrylic backing plate, we use a high-strength adhesive to fix them onto it.
What Extras Do 3D Plates Offer?
Gel doming technology allows plenty of room for the customisation of 3D number plates.
This means that not only do you get that distinctive 3D effect, but you can add subtle embellishments to the characters on the number plate.
For example, there is a range of 3D finishes, such as different coloured backings for the characters.
The effect here is to make the black numbers and letters stand out even more in relief as if they were hovering over the plate itself and casting a bright light beneath them.
You have to see this stunning effect in reality to truly appreciate it, but you can be sure it will add a whole new dimension to your vehicle number plates.
There are also variations in the colour of the characters themselves, from light carbon to dark carbon gels, or even a hint of glimmer with a starlight gel finish.
Essentially, it comes down to how far you wish to take the customisation of your number plate. The gel doming method provides plenty of options for you to choose from.
These are compliant with DVLA standards regarding size and character spacing.
How Hardwearing are 3D Number Plates?
3D gel number plate characters are flexible but tough. They won’t damage easily but you will need to take care of them.
You should try to avoid scratching your 3D number plate. When you fix it to your vehicle, the preferred option may be to use adhesive pads, rather than to drill through the plate, as you may risk damaging the gel characters if you do this.
Is it Legal to Drive with 3D Number Plates?
This question pops up regularly.
There are various DVLA rules about the size of number plates and characters and how far apart the numbers and characters must be from each other.
Also, the faces of the characters should be black. The front number plate background is white, the rear number plate is yellow.
But beyond these basics, there is room for customisation. You just need to be clear about how far you’re prepared to take it.
You’ve got design options with 3D number plates that you’re not going to get with standard number plates.