June '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U N E G R A P H I C S P R O 6 1 TRADITIONAL VERSUS LARGE FORMAT Looking more specifically at traditional and large-format equipment, the main dif- ferences between the two options are what applications they are used for, and what they can process, according to Dykhoff. "Large-format systems, which are typi- cally offered in higher wattages, make it possible to laser engrave and cut full sheets of plywood, MDF, plastics, and more," says Stevens. "Whereas more traditional laser systems hold the advantage of faster processing speeds due to the smaller, light- er motion systems when engraving and/ or cutting thin materials." Though large- format systems are typically seen in high- production environments, it is becoming more common for laser manufacturers to offer both types of laser systems to accom- modate a broad customer range. LASER ENGRAVING TOMORROW The future of the laser engraving industry points to the continued advancement of its already diverse capabilities. Stanaway pre- dicts that manufacturers will continue to put resources into making the user expe- rience as convenient and safe as possible, as well as develop faster, higher wattage systems. This also lends to an increase of the types of materials laser systems can process. As equipment costs decrease and laser engraving machines become more reli- able, the hobbyist market will continue to grow, adds Rosen. "We anticipate see- ing growth in consumer product custom- ization by hobbyists, as well as by kiosk owners and other small businesses." Stevens continues to see growth in the manufacturing industry as well, as it incorporates large-format and galvo laser systems to replace outdated mechanical processes. With laser systems becoming more widely used and available, Dykhoff also dabbles with the potential of lasers in out- er space as it could be beneficial to mak- ing parts for repairs on the International Space Station, for instance. "Truly the sky is the limit when it comes to laser customization services," finishes Stanaway. GP JULIA SCHROEDER is a freelance writer based in Chi- cago, Illinois. Previously, she held the position of digital content editor for A&E magazine. She can be reached at WITH SO MANY UPDATES AND IMPROVEMENTS TO LASER TECHNOLOGY, THE MARKETS TO TARGET WITH THIS EQUIPMENT ARE GROWING. HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS TO TARGET IN 2021: Invest in Something Better Trotec Laser, USA Increase product value, boost eiciency and lower ownership costs

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