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How To Articles
Looking for easy step-by-step instructions to sublimate like a pro, color fill laser engraving, laser a stamp, or something else entirely? Look no further – these articles provide you with how-to information on products and processes! The complete library of articles is a benefit of membership.

As part of the International Awards & Personalization Expo February 7-10, I will present an education session in which I build a live WordPress website in 3 hours. Here, I'm going to go over some of the basics for getting started with WordPress. Those of you who have solid knowledge of CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT can use them to create and edit graphics for use on websites.

It has been estimated that the total number of photos taken with film since film photography began is between 2 trillion and 3 trillion worldwide. That was before digital cameras and phones with built-in cameras changed everything. An estimated 3 trillion digital photos are expected to be taken or shared from a phone in the year 2017 alone.
Sublimation is a great process to print on a wide selection of materials: plastic, ceramic, polyester T-shirts—and our favorite substrate, metal! Although the process of sublimating on metal versus other materials is similar, there are a few key things to keep in mind to make your sublimation pop on this substrate.

All the sublimation terms you need to know—and a few you may not even have known existed.

Get into the profitable ADA-compliant signage market while saving time and money and gaining a competitive advantage. How? Use a UV-LED printer.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was created in 1990 with one goal: to prohibit unjustified discrimination based on disability. This act requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities and also requires accessibility for public accommodations.
Achieving a perfect, polished, laser-cut acrylic edge can be a challenging task for even the most advanced laser users because there are number of variables involved. You must use a high-quality acrylic appropriate for your application; determine the correct power, speed, and frequency settings; and select a suitable lens and table configuration, just to name a few. Below is a how-to guide to help any laser user achieve a flame-polished edge when laser cutting acrylic.
I was recently handed a page with seven logo choices and asked to choose my favorite. Before I answered, I had a number of questions. Choosing an attractive logo is important, but there are other factors that are just as important. I’ll walk you through my thought process, so you can apply the same logic when considering a new logo.
Some substrates—like ceramic and polyester—are natural canvases for sublimation. Other materials, like metal panels, are sold with special coatings to accept sublimation. Despite consumers loving the natural look of wood, sublimation-ready wooden blanks were not readily available until recently. Now, specially formulated coatings enable sublimators to print on natural wood surfaces. Retailers are seeing a lot of new sublimatable wood products available, from panels to frames.
Engraving, etching, and cutting with a CO2 laser system is simple and fast. These versatile machines excel at engraving wood, glass, acrylic, specialty plastics, and many textiles.
In CorelDRAW®, draw a box that is the size of the impression area of the stamp. Make sure the outline of the box is a hairline thickness for vector cutting. Inside the box, add the text or logo the stamp will print.
We all know CO2 laser systems can be used to create remarkable projects. The technology’s versatility in engraving small, intricate patterns with accuracy continues to amaze me every day when I’m producing projects. As amazing as the CO2 laser is, it produces monochrome results. The laser cuts, etches, and engraves, but it cannot add color.
Need a quick and easy paint to use for sandcarved items? So did we! When Rayzist Photomask introduced colored paint into our trade show demonstrations and sandcarving workshops in 2007, the paint had to dry quickly, be easy to use, and feature the durability of enamel paints. We tested and experimented with different paints—and then we came across a graffiti mural artist paint called Belton Molotow.
Subsurface laser engraving (SSLE) has been available for many years, and the process has evolved from a primitive and difficult technology requiring substantial equipment and support into a highly refined yet simple process yielding truly beautiful engraving results that aren’t available with any other technology. Advances developed in Germany have made SSLE systems reliable and straightforward to use. Some of the systems now available are virtually maintenance free.
With origins dating back more than 3,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, glass engraving has spanned the ages. Back then, glass was engraved with any material that was harder than the glass itself, typically rocks. But glass engraving really flourished during the Renaissance period in Europe in the 1500s, a time when nobles and royalty cherished these works of art. Fast-forward to present day, and engraved glass is still highly appreciated. But today it’s more affordable and can be appreciated by the masses.
Laser engraving and cutting systems are used extensively in the awards and personalization space for a variety of applications. In this area, lasers are often used to personalize awards, customize gifts, or create signage; however, many laser operators are finding new and different ways to utilize this type of technology to create items with a bit more dimension and depth.
When it comes to fashion, my age and Midwestern roots keep me behind the trends. I rely on my wife’s sense of style to help keep me in current clothing—within a decade or so. It is difficult, however, not to notice the ever-increasing trend for customized accessories. Personalized items are becoming more the rule than the exception. And when the weather turns cold, there are still sublimation options for customization!
Opportunities will come along that will challenge your business, your equipment, your staff, and your patience.
The typical table shear used in the engraving industry is a 12-in. guillotine configured as either a plastic or metal shear. The plastic cutting shear has a knife upper blade and is used on flexible plastics up to 3/32-in. thick. The metal cutting shear has a squared-off upper blade and is used on brass (maximum .030 in. thickness) or aluminum (maximum .040 in. thickness). Both have the same bottom blade. If you do both plastic and metal work you must have both types of shears. Changing blades is dangerous and time consuming. I do not recommend the combination blades.
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