Start Here November '21

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Page 63 of 102 59 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 1 New to the Industry Shops that are new to laser engraving should determine what types of products they want to engrave before purchasing a laser. If they want to engrave on a variety of substrates, a CO 2 laser is a good option. While it can engrave on plastics, wood, glass, and leather, it can't engrave on bare metal, though it can leave black marks on coated metals. If your main mission is to engrave directly onto base metals, a fiber laser is your best choice. Fiber lasers can engrave on silicon, gemstones, plastics, polymers, ceramics, thin films, and stone as well. Many companies want to get into engraving personalized items like insulated mugs, glasses, or leather items. Before attempting to personalize any of these products, Adam Voigt, Kern Laser Systems, recommends doing a test run with different wattages and speeds to find the right settings. Mike Dean, Epilog Laser, agrees, saying that learning the power and speed settings is something easy to do that becomes intuitive after a while. The settings recommended by each laser manufacturer are a good starting point. From there, the shop can play around by changing the power and speed until they get the desired result. Another point new users should consider is graphics. Laser engraving is "very straightforward and pretty simple. The learning Having trouble deciding on a laser? Ask yourself these simple questions: A laser engraver is capable of producing high-quality photographs on a variety of substrates, including anodized aluminum. Note that there are certain metals that cannot be marked by a CO 2 machine without a marking agent. (Image courtesy Kern Laser Systems) When the laser hits glass, it chips the surface. Adjusting the settings helps ensure a quality finished product. (Image courtesy Epilog Laser) Image courtesy Trotec Laser

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