Awards & Engraving

March '19

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40 • A&E MARCH 2019 A n important part of an awards and customized products shop is continuing to hone skills, both old and new. As technology and substrates continue to evolve, and trends continue to change, keeping on top of techniques is a crucial way to provide customers the best end product. Even if a shop has been run- ning a machine since its opening, letting skills become out-of-date or out-of-practice can ultimately be detrimental to business. Take rotary engraving for example. A technology that has been around for a number of years, some might think, what's to learn? Simply answered, there is plenty to learn and keep up on. To get more insight on the topic, A&E enlisted the help of sev- eral industry voices to lend their thoughts. It turns out that there's more to discover than most might think. And while some of the techniques discussed might not be new, it's always a good idea to revisit something you may have forgotten about. REFRESHER COURSE To truly sharpen and hone your rotary engraving techniques, it's best to take a refresher course. On the most basic level, rotary engravers use tools to cut into a substrate and remove the material. Of course, this process requires not only the machine, but the cutters and bits, clamps, and software as well. Mastering all of these components is a must. "An experienced operator is a treat to watch," believes Fred Schwartz, Quality One Engravers. Running the machine can be a rhythmic and polished process when done correctly. Those who have taken the time to learn about its nuances will be the most successful. But all of our sources stress that it takes time and patience. According to Zach Houser, Vision Engraving & Routing Systems, taking your time with this technology includes sharpening skills before the machine even gets going. "Taking the time during setup and design can help ensure the piece (you're working on) comes out as expected," he emphasizes. He points out that good rotary technique starts at the design phase. Once users have the proper design, setting up the machine comes next. Users will want to ensure they've selected the right tool for the job. Rotary machines are capable of engraving on substrates such as steel, aluminum, plastics, granite, and more. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the substrate you're working with. IMAGE COURTESY ROLAND DGA Sharpen Your Skills ROTARY ENGRAVING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES By Cassie Green (and Tools)

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