Awards & Engraving

November '17

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W hile the technology may seem complicated, running lasers is actually a pretty easy task: design the artwork; pick your substrate; insert into laser; run job; and repeat as nec- essary. What's not so simple—especially for those just starting out in the industry—is determining settings for different materials and understanding how to use your laser system in a way that maximizes your time and resources. Speed and power settings are typically learned quickly through trial and error. Most manufacturers provide a list of sug- gested settings for the most common laser materials as a starting point. After experi- menting with different parameters (laser speed, power, and frequency settings), most users have a pretty good handle on how a particular item or product will engrave. These early stages take a lot of practice, but before too long, laser users become quite adept at determining what settings are going to work best for certain substrates. Once users have their settings nailed down and become more proficient with their graphic design skills (if they're not a designer by trade), they can throw open their doors for business. It's usually at this point laser owners are thinking solely of get- ting orders and cranking them out. There may be material testing and late nights making sure artwork is perfect, all while trying to maintain an efficient workflow. What users may not be aware of, however, is that there are all kinds of time-saving tips and tricks that can reduce cycle time, maxi- mize production, and improve through put. Read on to learn how these simple changes in how you laser can save one of your most invaluable resources: your time. Streamlining Your Simple tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your time and resources By Amy Dallman Laser Work flow A&E NOVEMBER 2017 • a-e-mag.com 33

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