Awards & Engraving

April '19

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12 • A&E APRIL 2019 can hone your skills. And don't forget about manufacturer open houses, webinars, and other events. USING THE MACHINE Now it's time to talk about the fun part: the actual process of laser engraving. Whether decorating a trophy, embellishing apparel, or personalizing signage, the laser is capable of just about anything. "I would start with the basics and simple designs to get the hang of the laser machine, perhaps using an existing design," suggests McGee. "Then move on to more compli- cated projects. Do a few practice applica- tions using lower cost or scrap materials." When it comes to specific substrates, Voigt has a few thoughts for those new to the technology. "Engraving into wood, acrylics, and metals is probably one of the easier tasks to learn," he says. But don't limit yourself as you gain experience. For example, using the laser for cutting can also be easy to learn. "The difficult part about learning anything on a laser system is your settings for the material you are using for each specific material," Voigt notes. "Find your percentage of power and your cut speed for a variety of materials, write them down, save them, and then you have a reference point for any new materials that come into your business." "Many people start out doing simple text engraving on wood plaques or keychains or cutting simple dimensional letters from acrylic for a signage project, and then work Questions to Ask Before Diving In By Amy Dallman, Epilog Laser • Why do I want to start my own business? • What technical skills have I learned or developed? • How much time do I have to run a successful business? • Do I have any hobbies or interests that are marketable? • What services or products will I sell? • What niche will my business fill? • Who is my competition? • What is my business plan (location, name, finances, etc.)? Once you get the hang of the laser machine, start to experiment with different substrates, such as leather products. IMAGE COURTESY EPILOG LASER

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