Awards & Engraving

November '18

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24 • A&E NOVEMBER 2018 I don't know about everyone else's market, but my market has an insatiable appetite for stainless-steel tumblers. Before adding my fiber laser (Radian RL-GT3 60 Watt Mopa), I would shy away from taking orders that required me to use my CO 2 lasers for metal marking. The prep time, machine time, cleanup time, and costs of the metal-marking solution caused me to decline such orders. I am happy to say that now my engrav- ings are fully permanent, and short of using a grinder, they are impossible to remove. With one pass on our fiber laser, we have a beautiful black engraving cut into the stainless steel; with a second pass, we can remove the black, utilizing a polish pass that leaves a stunning engraved silver mark. Our galvo laser is definitely the right tool for these jobs! As I mentioned in my first article (Fiber Lasers: A Beginner's Guide, September page 28), a major factor in my purchase decision was that Radian's galvo lasers have a 3-D option for the engraving. This option isn't just for carving a 3-D design, but rather to engrave around 3-D objects without having to use a rotary system. With this feature, we can engrave 55 degrees off center without rotation. I admit that I was initially skeptical to such a claim, but I can now attest that this feature works and is a major time saver. Now, let's get into some how-tos when using this equipment. Since tumblers are so popular, I thought it fitting to go through the steps to complete this project using the fiber laser. ART SETUP As with all engraving, your artwork needs to be set up properly to engrave properly. I like to use CorelDRAW for my editing needs, but feel free to use the program that you are most comfortable with that allows you to export an AI file. To start, I open the design in Corel- DRAW and remove the color fill, and then add a hairline outline to the design. My Braden Todd is a second-generation engraver and owner of Glassmith2, located in Boulder, Colorado. Braden's expertise ranges from sand- carving, industrial laser cutting/engraving, UV printing, and the other supporting facets that allow Glassmith2 to consistently provide cut- ting-edge items to its retail and wholesale customers. Questions and wholesale inquiries are always welcome: By Braden Todd Tumbling through tumblers Fiber Lasers : A How-To Guide If there are overlapping elements hidden by a color fill, this may show when engraving your design into metal. ALL IMAGES COURTESY BRADEN TODD Design with fill hiding overlap. Design without fill showing overlap issue. Design with overlap trimmed away, separated to show effect.

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