Awards & Engraving

October '16

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20 • A&E OCTOBER 2016 LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS was un-coated, we decided to use our nd:YAG laser for this attempt. A RATHER CONVINCING ROLE We hoped to get rid of the pre-printed graphics and the random nicks and scratches with a quick sanding of the surface, but once again, it was taking considerable time. We then decided to sandcarve the aluminum pieces. It took about 20 seconds to sandcarve each piece, and we were left with a nice subtle and consistent finish. Our next step was to create a rough and sporadic line pattern, which would resemble a brushed appearance. From CorelDraw, we created the pattern using the pen tool and exported it as an open path graphic. The graphic was imported into the laser software, where we duplicated the graphic and modified the size, giving it more of a natural and random look. It is also important to note that we just created one version of the sporadic line pattern, which meant that we only had to import a single graphic. This was a helpful step as we did not want to bog down the software with numerous and unique graphics. We then randomly layered the graphic pattern over the top of itself to simulate the desired effect. To obtain a further organic look, we also adjusted the power settings on the laser for each grouped line pattern. By doing so, we could obtain a more slight variation, giving it a more natural look. While marking the aluminum, we wanted to obtain a very slight mark on the surface. This graphic was accomplished by laser marking in a vector mode. To finish off the aluminum pieces and to add a little flair to the project, we sprayed a clear coat on the aluminum, which brightened the overall appearance of the piece. The raw aluminum pieces contained pre-printed graphics, scratches and nicks requiring finishing. Each aluminum piece was sandcarved to remove any imperfections. A close-up of the laser marked brushed effect. After the laser marking was complete, a glossy clear coat was sprayed on.

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