Awards & Engraving

October '16

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A&E OCTOBER 2016 • a-e-mag.com 19 Laser Engraving Our intention was to cut the 1/2-inch-thick custom acrylic piece using one of our lasers. With our 75-watt Epilog EXT, it was a rather simple task to complete. I wish I could say the same about the aluminum pieces. The raw alu- minum pieces were to be supplied by a local metal supplier that does not offer a finishing service. This meant finishing the aluminum pieces was our responsibility. The supplied aluminum was provided in what is known as a "raw" format. The cut aluminum pieces came complete with some printed identification graphics, scratches and nicks. Our plan was to finish the aluminum pieces by simply sanding off the the blemishes, produ- cing a brushed appearance. We planned to use a belt sander to expedite the removal of these imper- fections. What we quickly found was that it took considerably longer than we expected. We originally thought it might take two to three minutes per piece; in reality, it took well over 15 to 20 minutes to obtain a decent brushed finish. We spoke with metal supply companies about which techniques were best suited to yield a brushed appearance on raw aluminum. Regret- tably, they all said we were doing the right thing and that there was no silver bullet for this task. Simply put, we were going to have to invest much more time than we expected. We were thinking about how we could accelerate the task of finishing the aluminum pieces when an unusual idea surfaced. We thought that perhaps we could use laser technology to simu- late the brushed appearance on the aluminum pieces. Because the metal www.LaserBits.com • 800.733.7705 MAPLE DELUXE GIFT SET INCLUDES 4 ITEMS: Magnifying Glass • Letter Opener • Ballpoint Pen Velvet Lined Gift Case

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