Awards & Engraving

March '20

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A&E MARCH 2020 • a-e-mag.com 47 THE BASICS Let's start with the most basic question: why rotary engraving? There are quite a few substrates and projects that work wonder- fully with this technology and some that don't, so it's a viable question. "The great thing with a rotary engraving machine is that 'if you can hold it, you can engrave it,'" states Elisha Spector, U-Marq. "Because you have the choice of so many dif- ferent cutters and diamonds, you shouldn't be limited to what you can engrave or what you can offer to your customers." This versatility is welcome in an awards and personalization shop where any number of substrates might walk through the door. Spector goes on to note that there are several common ones, with metal and plastic topping the list. "These products were meant to be engraved by a rotary machine because the end results look clean and crisp and have come to be what the customers expect to see," she adds. But don't limit yourself to those two products. Anthony Harris, Gravotech Inc., shares that the rotary engraver can also pro- cess glass. "The range of materials for rotary engraving is vast; rotary engravers can pro- cess many materials that don't process well or are unsafe in a laser," he points out. There are a few substrates out there that aren't necessarily a good fit, however. Harris notes that these are typically soft items that can fray when processed. "Some include textiles, soft foams, some rubber stamp materials, paper products, and food items. The best solution on these items is a CO 2 laser," he says. Core Tools for Rotary Engraving Elisha Spector, U-Marq • Rotary engraving machine (if you plan to process basic plastics in small quantities, an entry-level machine will suffice) • Good cutters • Various shapes and sizes of tips • Burnishing diamond (for harder metals or glass) Glass isn't as tricky to decorate with a rotary machine as one might think. Make sure you have the correct burnishing diamond for best results. IMAGE COURTESY GRAVOTECH IMAGE COURTESY GRAVOTECH

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