Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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73 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 tion, the retailer simply needs to run a squeegee on the mask with ample pressure, tape off the exposed area, and then etch. For stone, another widely used substrate for beginners, Haas recommends heating the surface with a mini torch or heat gun and using additional adhesives to apply the stencil. Like glass and other polished surfaces, the retailer would then use a squeegee to secure the mask down. Why Sandcarving? Sandcarving is especially great for a new awards and per- sonalization shop because the process is not only compat- ible with many products but there's also a low barrier to entry, Haas says. The typical sandcarving setup is simple and doesn't require a large investment, but at the same time, sandcarving has the potential to bring in a profit- able revenue stream. "Sandcarving allows shops to offer high-quality engraving and achieve nice depth in several materials, like glass and stone," Haas says. "When the customers see that kind of depth and detail you get with sandcarving, they can see the difference in the quality, which allows shops to yield high profits." Even if a personalization shop is already established but new to sandcarving, adding this capability can comple- ment existing etching processes, such as laser engraving, Jones says. Unlike other etching processes, sandcarving offers unique techniques, including stage-carving, halftones, frosting, and deep etching capabilities. By adding sandcarving's expanded offerings, an established awards and engraving shop can expand and diver- sify its current line for a competitive edge. Becoming Proficient In addition to sandcarving's low barrier to entry and versatility, Jones finds that the learning curve for sandcarving is generally minimal. With the right setup and instruction, a new user can start sandcarving within minutes, and plenty of educational resources are avail- able for the beginner. Often manufacturers offer hands-on workshops throughout the country, and their technical reps are ready to provide support. Video tutorials are available on YouTube as well as sandcarving With the right setup, a beginner user can start sandcarving within minutes. (Image courtesy IKONICS Imaging) Given the limited, affordable equip- ment required to get started, sandcarv- ing is a good option to consider for a beginner in the cus- tomization industry. (Image courtesy IKONICS Imaging) Sandcarving Companies: Glastar IKONICS Imaging Rayzist Photomask Inc.

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