Awards & Engraving

March '18

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46 • A&E MARCH 2018 One consideration to keep in mind is that rotary doesn't work with elastic mate- rials, according to Donaldson. "Elastic materials such as rubber and latex stretch and push out of the way instead of cut- ting cleanly," he elaborates. "Conversely, ceramic materials such as tile do not engrave because the material fractures and pulverizes instead of cutting cleanly." BASIC MARKET ANALYSIS If you're still on the fence about adding rotary engraving to your arsenal, there are a few more benefits that can elevate your business. Along with the number of items that it can customize, it couples nicely with other technologies and shows a strong market stance among customers looking for personalization services. "Market intelligence indicates that rotary technology is maintaining its rightful place in the engraving industry as it continues to offer extremely versatile marking methods," Payne points out. She cites that, even with the buzz surrounding laser engraving, there is still a desire, and need, for the tried and true process of rotary engraving. Not only that, but there have been improvements made to the technology that keep it current. "Materials are easier to cut, look nicer, last longer, and in some cases, can be customized with (other technologies such as) sublimation," Donaldson states. Plus, surface engraving is still a popular desire among recognition customers in particular. "Surface engraving… has a clean, classic look for trophies and plaques," he finishes. But mostly it boils down to the ease, versatility, and simplicity of the tech- nology. "Anything you can hold fixed in place could be engraved on," believes Pritchett. "If you can keep it still, it can be engraved." With so many benefits, it's hard to find an argument not to add this technology to your business. Rotary engraving works well with a variety of substrates, including wood. IMAGE COURTESY GRAVOTECH What to Consider with Wood Chuck Donaldson, Antares Inc. Wood can be rotary engraved, but ranges from very soft (pine, balsa, etc.) to extremely hard (walnut, ash, etc.). Order tools for the specific materials for best results. In general, for harder material and/or the deeper you cut, feed rates should be slowed and the number of passes should be increased. General Rotary Tips for Various Substrates Jason Pritchett, Gravotech Metal (unless surface scratching with a diamond tip) and wood are similar, in that rotating carbide (usually half-round) cutters are used to cut a depth. Cutter selection and speed/feed rates are the difference between the sub- strates, including plastic. Metal does better with a lubrication; plastic and wood use suction to remove chips. Glass is done with a rotating, faceted diamond, and also lubrication. The best glass engraving is similar in quality to a sandcarved result, and looks better than lasered glass (in my opinion), though there are many reasons lasering is preferred, such as being much faster. Don't forget to add rotary engraving tools, such as jigs, shanks, and other items. IMAGE COURTESY JDS INDUSTRIES A&E

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