June '21

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6 0 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M ROTARY ATTACHMENT: A MUST-HAVE ACCESSORY Ancillary tools such as rotary attachments and specialized lenses remain the same, but we've seen even more use of the rotary attachment than ever before. It's become a must- have accessory for customers, and they've discovered the revenue potential of engraving glasses, mugs, tumblers, and much more. — JAMES STANAWAY, EPILOG LASER One of the most popular applications for laser engraving is customization and personal- ization of drinkware. Many people carry their own water bottles these days, and they want their bottles customized to reflect their personality and lifestyle, be it with a custom text or graphic, or their favorite Disney character. Companies are also taking the opportunity to add their logos to promotional items like drinkware. — KEVIN ROSEN, ROLAND DGA Image courtesy Epilog Laser FEATURES TO LOOK FOR Whether you are in the market for your first laser or are looking to up- grade to accommodate the changing market, Stanaway recommends getting the largest and highest wattage system your budget and space will allow. With space and budget in mind, other consid- erations include ease of use, warranty, and after-sale support. "Wireless connectivity is also an es- sential feature as customers have more connection options than ever before," Stanaway says. "Other features to look for will ultimately depend on what your primary applications are." For example, you'll need a vector table if you plan on doing any cutting with your laser. If you envision customizing wine bottles, tum- blers, or mugs, then you'll benefit from having a rotary attachment. "Truthfully there are many differ- ent tools that can assist your laser en- graver in the production process, it just depends on what materials you are us- ing and what kinds of applications they are being used for," Dykhoff states. For processing metals, for example, you will need a tumbler for deburring, a brake to fold the metal, and a sheer to cut met- al sheets. It's also possible to upgrade your la- ser equipment with a variety of acces- sories, including focus lenses, workta- bles, rotary attachments, registration software, and more, depending on your application, Stevens says. "These tools can allow you to expand your offerings but also streamline your process even further." Stevens adds that investing in an ex- haust blower or filter for a new laser can prolong the life of a laser system by keeping dust and debris from building up inside, but is also necessary for safe- ty reasons. In addition to accessories, a computer with high-quality design software such as CorelDR AW, Adobe Illustrator, or a free graphic software such as Inkscape is necessary, unless the laser has an integrated design software.

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