Awards & Engraving

November '17

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ferent engraving and cutting settings to different colors within your artwork, and can be used in both raster and vector modes. Laser operators use this feature to adjust the order of a series of objects to be engraved or cut. In the example to the right, there are three columns of names we are engraving. If we leave figure 3 as-is, the laser carriage will have to travel all the way across the table, covering a lot of empty space, to engrave the names line by line. If we adjust the colors in each column, we can set up the color mapping to engrave first the red column, then the green one in the center, and finally engrave the blue names on the right side of the page (see figure 4). The engraving time drops from 39:09 to 22:14 by just using color mapping in the file setup. PREPARE AHEAD: PRE- ENGRAVE POPULAR ITEMS If you have a hot product that you regu- larly engrave and customize, for example, a cutting board, you can engrave several to keep in stock. When a customer wants to personalize it, all you need to do is add a name. Figure 5 is a great example: pre-engrave the boards and leave the "order here" space empty—you can easily pop in a name or other phrase for quick and easy personalization. ENGRAVING MULTIPLES One of the great things about the laser is how easy it is to set up files for multiple engraving. This comes in handy if you're doing multiple identical products, such as a plaque or award, with minimal vari- ables, such as a different name on each piece. Instead of changing the name and engraving one personalized plaque at a time, fill your engraving table with multiple pieces and do it all at once. It may take a couple minutes longer in the setup stages, since you'll need to change each name, but the time savings are significant. Figure 6 illustrates a 24-by-18-inch engraving table filled with plaques. Had we engraved those one at a time, we'd be looking at an engraving time of 8:13. But when we do them all at once, the entire process clocked in at 51:39—or 5:10 per Fig 3 Fig 4 An example of color mapping. A&E NOVEMBER 2017 • 35

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