February '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 F E B R U A R Y G R A P H I C S P R O 8 1 guidelines. "It is important to use the ap- propriate laser parameters for each materi- al to achieve the best result," adds Stevens. "For example, engraving paper usually requires less power than engraving wood or engraver's plastic, and when engraving acrylic, you typically achieve the most uni- form results when using lower power. It's also important to note that going too slow could result in a fire depending on the ma- terial, which is why using the appropriate settings is so important." LASER ENGRAVING IMPROVEMENTS Over the past few years, laser systems have seen a steady increase in size and the speeds of both engraving and cutting. "More user- friendly, web-based operational software has begun to offer more control and ease of use, improved material settings, and features like cameras and vision systems have expanded the ability and diversity of markets for laser engraving," says Stevens. Laser systems started out small in size with little to no customizable features or options. "Most were difficult to use, slow, required skilled maintenance, and were extremely expensive," Stevens adds. Over the years, new accessories have been de- veloped, and the sizes and wattages of the lasers have increased. Laser engravers today are much easier to maintain and can reach speeds 20 times faster than the original la- ser engravers that came on the market. These are all capabilities to consider when deciding what to purchase. "La- ser power is going to determine speed and processing capabilities. For basic and straightforward engraving applications, a lower wattage may be sufficient, but if you want to cut materials or do more advanced techniques, such as 3D engraving, it will be more beneficial to have a laser with more power," Stevens finishes. GP PAULA AVEN GLADYCH is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at pgladych@ Improved Vacuum Engrave up to 150 inches per sec Unmatched Safety Large - Format | Industrial Laser Systems Class 4 CO2 Laser Plastics, Wood, Metals, & Foam *CO2 Laser etched with Oxygen assist or visit our website at Call us at 1.800.843.7637 Optimized with You in Mind The LS900 by Gravotech was engineered to meet your every engraving need. The large 24' x 24' engraving area makes this the ideal solution for small, mass produced and large items. Signage, industrial labels, personalized gifts, and much more are all possible on this machine. Combine it with our wide range of engravable material to get an edge on the competition!

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