Awards & Engraving

October '18

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A&E OCTOBER 2018 • a-e-mag.com 63 and all aspects of how you set up and run your laser engraving business. Need help developing your business plan? Resources abound and many are in your local community. Start with your accountant or contact your local Small Busi- ness Administration office. The internet is also a great resource for researching and completing this important document that is the cornerstone of your business. SHOP DESIGN Your shop design is another large consid- eration as you develop your laser engraving business. The basics to any laser engraving shop design include a laser engraving system, laser exhaust system or air filter, computer with layout software, work bench for assembly, a stock of laser-friendly mate- rials along with material storage racks, and a display area for completed projects and samples. The workspace should be well lit and have high-speed internet service in addition to other amenities to make it a happy and creative area. Allow at least 800 to 1,000 square feet for your laser engraving shop to be safe and productive. HOW TO CHOOSE A LASER SYSTEM The key tool in your shop is the laser system. Refer back to your business plan to confirm which markets you want to go after to narrow down the choice for your laser system and what your budget is. Laser systems come in many sizes and types as well as several laser source types. First start with types of materials you will work with to help you find what type of laser source best fits your application. A system with a CO 2 laser source is the most flexible and least expensive. The CO 2 laser system is ideal for working with coated metals and organic materials such as wood, leather, granite, plastic, acrylic, and more. Bare, uncoated metals can be marked using a CO 2 laser system using a laser reactive coating called CerMark. A CO 2 laser system is ideal for working with coated metals and organic materials such as wood, leather, granite, plastic, acrylic, and more. IMAGE COURTESY GRAVOTECH

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