Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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60 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 Laser Engraving Laser. She lists vector-based graphic design software, a computer, ventila- tion, and the laser as part of the starting package. When looking at the laser itself, Kirstin Scott, Universal Laser Systems ( ULS), states that many beginners opt for the CO 2 , but some go for a fiber depending on the materials and applica- tions they plan to use it for. "Many also use common options such as gas assist, a cutting table, a rotary fixture, optics, etc., again depending on their specific needs," she adds. Beginners also need to remember items that might seem more ancillary but are just as crucial. "One important thing to consider is whether or not your laser requires protective gear such as safety goggles," Amie McGee, Trotec Laser, emphasizes. She also circles back to the ventilation point, a consideration many beginners may overlook. "When a laser applies heat to materials, it creates smoke and fumes. If that smoke isn't evacuated from a laser system, harmful, toxic, and dangerous fumes can cause health risks and create costly damage to the optics, mechanics, and other critical system components," she points out. (Image courtesy Epilog Laser) There are many available machines a beginner must consider for purchase, such as CO 2 , fiber, dual source, and more. (Image courtesy Trotec Laser) Top 5 Application Tips for the Beginner BY AIMEE MCGEE, TROTEC LASER • Make sure you're using a laser with the appropriate capabilities for your application. • Make sure you're using laser-friendly materials. Some materials, such as vinyl for example, emit noxious fumes when they are processed with a laser. • Make sure you have proper exhaust and ventilation. • Focus your lens appropriately for safety and better processing results. • Test your speed and power settings. Laser Engraver Resources (with rotary attachments) Company Laser Engravers Web site Epilog Laser Zing Starter Series, Legend Elite Series, Epilog FiberMark Industrial Series GCC LaserPro Spirit LS, Venus II and C180 series; cutting software Gravograph CO 2 , YAG and Fiber laser engraving systems Kern Lasers Large-format laser cutting and engraving equip- ment, dual laser heads optional Laguna Tools Selection of CO 2 lasers Trotec Robust line of laser cutting and engravers, rotary fixture available LaserPro Spirit series, Gaia, Stellar Mark series, C180, S290 Radian Laser Systems 2D/3D Fiber Lasers, CO 2 flatbed and galvo, UV Universal Laser Systems Complete line of laser engraving systems, optional rotary fixture VyTek Laser Systems Robust line of laser cutting and engravers, rotary fixture available Xenetech Full line of laser engravers, rotary fixture available

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