Awards & Engraving

November '17

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34 • A&E NOVEMBER 2017 LOWER THE RESOLUTION How important is it to engrave at a high resolution? It depends on the graphic and the material. Print quality, commonly referred to as resolution, can greatly impact your engraving time. Resolution is expressed in dots per inch (DPI) and is determined by the number of lines or dots that are engraved for every inch of move- ment. It's a small tweak, but just taking your engraving resolution down from 600 to 400 can reduce cycle times by up to 30 percent, and processing at 300 DPI could mean half the cycle time. LANDSCAPE OR PORTRAIT? Depending on the artwork, you can increase your efficiency and decrease the time it takes to engrave an image by changing the orientation of your file. Many users set up their artwork in portrait mode and then rotate the artwork 90 degrees if they are going to print from landscape mode. This project setup shows the same job in portrait mode (figure 1) and landscape mode (figure 2). The landscape mode will engrave faster because there's less turn- around time as the laser makes longer passes across the engraving table. For example, at 100 percent speed and 100 percent power in portrait mode, this graphic will take 56 minutes, 56 seconds, while in landscape mode it takes 38 minutes, 54 seconds— that's a 34 percent time savings. It's important to keep in mind that not all engraving projects will engrave better in landscape mode—it really depends on the graphic being engraved and how much white space there is in the design. We always recommend positioning your graphics to minimize engraving dead space where the head travels but has nothing to engrave. COLOR MAPPING Color mapping is a way to tell the laser exactly what to engrave and when to engrave it, and it's a huge time saver. This is a well-known feature among seasoned laser users; however, new laser operators may not be aware of how valuable it can be. Color mapping allows you to set dif- ALL IMAGES COURTESY AMY DALLMAN Fig 1 Fig 2 Landscape mode. Portrait mode

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