Awards & Engraving

Start Here October '19

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59 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 651-686-5027 submite Sublimation Ink & Paper FACT BOX Estimated Cost of Entry: For around $10,000, you can enter the laser engraving market: A laser system: Laser systems range from $8,000 to around $65,000 based on engraving area and the wattage of the laser system. A computer: Any Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10 operating system is recommended. Graphic software: Most systems are designed to run on most Windows-based graphic software programs, such as CorelDRAW, Adobe, and AutoCAD. Some manufacturers require operators to use a proprietary software to run their system. Ventilation: Most users opt to vent outdoors as it is the most cost- effective exhaust option. However, if that is not an option for you, budget an additional $3,000 (approximately) for a portable filtration unit. Space Needed: Many compact or "desktop" model lasers require little space. Models like these can easily fit on a tabletop, cart, or even sit upon a portable filter unit (if required), and take up a small footprint in your workspace. Common laser machine sizes are 24" x 12" and 24" x 18". Time Needed to Be Proficient: Many users are up and running their first job within hours of receiving their system. However, unless they are already a designer or familiar with graphic design software, some people find learning to design for the laser a bit challenging. Three to six months is the general timeframe for most people to hone their design skills. Educational Resources: There are a variety of educational resources available to users: • One-on-one training from distributor: depending on the system, training may be included in the purchase price, or this could be an additional cost. • Manufacturer-provided training • Online laser groups and forums • YouTube videos Equipment and Tools Let's start with a discussion on equip- ment. You cannot, of course, add laser engraving services to your business with- out the machine, but it's more complex than that. There are many options (CO 2 , fiber, dual source, etc.) as well as various sizes, configurations, and even optional attachments and tools. But don't get overwhelmed with this information. "For the process of customization with laser, very little is needed to be able to offer laser engraving and cutting services," explains Amy Dallman, Epilog

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