Awards & Engraving

December '16

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20 • A&E DECEMBER 2016 LASER ENGRAVING APPLICATIONS would be close to impossible and would take considerable time. I asked the client if they could just replace the watch backs. They said that the factory would be happy to do so, but time and cost constraints made this an unfeasible option. Hence, their presence in our showroom. I offered them a potential solution: I suggested that we laser mark a hatch-filled box overtop of the existing graphics. I also suggested that we add a textured cross- stitch pattern, which would help hide any remaining graphics. The client agreed to this and accepted any risk involved with this project. ERASING EVIDENCE Further inspection showed that the laser marked graphics appeared to be identical on each watch, but the loca- tion of the marked graphic was slightly different. Thus, we needed a way of effi- ciently setting up each watch and ensuring that the textured box was aligned properly to the existing graphics. To do so, I chose to use a flip sheet technique that provides an easy visual method for aligning prod- ucts to your graphics. Our initial step was to create a rect- angle that would be used to hide the graphics. This rectangle would have to be large enough to cover the existing graphics, but small enough to fit in the restricted space. Our hatch-filled rectangle measured 0.135 of an inch tall by 0.50 of an inch wide. Once this measurement was made, an outline of the box was laser marked on the clear acetate sheet. The watch was then slid underneath the marked acetate sheet to help us see where the newly laser marked graphics were going to end up. To protect the glass face, we used a soft leather-like material as a bedding. Often when laser marking a customer's own product, you may think that your main duties are to simply laser mark the item, but do not forget that material handling is also an important component of your job. To remove the graphics, we performed two passes of the tight hatch fill using a laser setting to frost the surface. Our Nd:YAG laser also uses a galvo head, which allows us to rotate the angle of the hatch fill. After the first two passes were complete, there was still some evidence A flip sheet is used to help better align the new laser graphics overtop of the old existing graphics. Even after two passes, there is still some evidence of the existing graphics.

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