Awards & Engraving

August '17

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A&E AUGUST 2017 • 19 The technique works for more com- plex layouts like finger joints for boxes. No need to worry about the laser kerf (the gap caused by the cut lines) too much. If the finger joint tabs are sized correctly, the only gaps will be at the top and bottom of the joint and aren't significant enough to compromise the joint. GRAPHIC BREAKS As I noted in a previous article, orienting your graphic in a landscape position, rather than portrait, can save quite a bit of time doing raster work. When doing projects where the graphics are spread out over a large area with a lot of blank space in between, you can save even more time by breaking up the graphics into separate pieces. The photo above shows a border that I frequently use for a bag toss game. The size can range from 12 by 6 inches to 36 by 24 inches. Even with the page oriented in the land- scape position, there is still a lot of blank space between the edge lines. The lens car- riage travels along those blank areas without firing. Eliminating those blank areas from the job is where the time savings comes in. To do that, the far right edge of the graphic is covered by an RGB white-filled box (shown as gray in the upper right image) and the job is run. Then the left part of the graphic is covered (lower right image) and the right edge is run as a second job. What is gained by doing this? The two- job, broken-up-graphic version ran in one- third less time than the landscape version and less than half the time of the portrait version. That means just a few minutes for each 12-by-6-inch graphic, but significant time for large graphics that span the entire work area. Eliminate those long carriage movements where the laser doesn't fire and the job will go much faster, even if you have to run more than one job. SETTINGS Lowering raster DPI settings saves a lot of time. The DPI setting is in a direct, straight line relationship with the time the job takes to run. If it takes 10 minutes to run at 600 DPI, it will take only five min- utes at 300 DPI and just three minutes, 20 seconds at 200 DPI. But what effect does that have on the image quality, particularly a grayscale or photographic image? I make painted tile trivets for a local church centennial celebration. It's impor- tant to get a good, consistent image; some clients order them by the dozen. They are black matte 4 1/4-inch ceramic tiles with a thin, even application of ivory spray-paint. When the image is rastered, it exposes the tile color to create the image. It's common for rasters of photos and other grayscale graphics to be done at 600 DPI. I do these at 300 DPI in half the time. Laser Engraving No need to worry about the laser kerf too much. This photo shows a border that I frequently use for a bag toss game. Even with the page oriented in the landscape position, there is still a lot of blank space between the edge lines. with equipment, technologies and products Register Here: or call 800.560.9941 Get Secaucus Meadowlands Exposition Center August 17-19, 2017 Education Begins August 16

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