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Laser Engraving

Whether you are a laser pro or novice, there is always something new to learn about laser engraving. Whether it’s expanding your core market; adding new products like signage, gifts, or rubber stamps; or learning new techniques; these articles will help you maximize the productivity and profitability of your laser engraver.

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My wife, Lura, has figured out that finding gifts throughout the year in preparation for the holidays prevents needless stress during an already busy season. I have yet to adopt this philosophy but someday hope to hone this skill as well. There is sure to be last-minute shopping in the near future.

One of the versatile and inspiring aspects of a laser is that it can be used to engrave the graphics that will be the focal point of your finished item, and it can also be used to cut out the parts and pieces that will be used to produce the rest of your project. Many projects can make use of the laser’s ability to produce crisp, clean, and custom graphics; some can leverage the laser machine as a fabrication tool; and others can make use of both capabilities.

Selecting the right lens can be the key to achieving perfect results with your CO2 laser system. The parameters are set, the focus is adjusted, but somehow the engraving is not precise. Has this ever happened to you? This error is most likely a lens issue. The correct lens is just as essential as the parameters and optimal focus adjustment. To select the proper lens, you must consider the output of the laser device, the material type and thickness that you are processing, and the detail level and resolution (dpi) of the graphics.

Before I opened Champagne Engraving in Michigan, I operated a shop in Carlsbad, CA, that was famous for being able to engrave anything, from apple pies to zippers. Jigs were key to us gaining that reputation. Trial and error led to experience, allowing us to create jigs to personalize odd-shaped items.

How do you create jigs that keep your product where it belongs without crushing it? It depends on whether you're using a laser or a mechanical engraver. Let's start with the laser.

Laser mask is a solution for both laser engravers and sandcarving professionals, enabling users to laser cut masks and eliminating the inkjet media artwork and exposure process. With laser mask (Image 1), sandcarvers can go beyond the basics to stage-carve glass and crystal and deep-carve a variety of materials, including stone, ceramic, and wood.

Awards and Personalization Association member retailers took part in a recent survey to tell Insights magazine which laser system accessories mattered the most to them—and to fill us in on the sanity-savers we didn’t include on our list! Here’s how they ranked the 10 accessories on our list, starting with the most valuable:

When engraving a trophy or customizing a gift, lasers are an obvious go-to. But lasers’ potential markets are almost limitless. For a retailer who is proficient with or willing to learn more about laser engraving, new markets and customers are yours for the taking.

As a promotional products retailer, I find joy in producing and sourcing a wide range of products, including some that are unconventional or unfamiliar to me.

When Insights refers to a laser, a CO2 laser is usually what we mean. That’s because CO2 lasers were the first on the scene in the personalization industry and have remained the dominant laser type in retail shops. But fiber lasers are fast gaining ground for a good reason.

Where’s the beef? It’s in this very beefy project that, among other things, will detail a process for creating table tents with call numbers on them like those used by many fast-food locations.

Large franchise operations order these by the millions at a super cheap price, but smaller, local establishments often require quantities that can be profitable for laser owners, UV printers, sublimators, and other smaller-run personalization professionals.

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Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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