Shopping for High Tech Laser Engraver
25 Mar 2017
High Tech Laser Engraver
What’s your business up to? And, what do you need to compete? You need answers to both these questions if you’re looking to invest in a high tech laser engraver.
For instance, if you just need one occasionally, you look for certain features. If you use engrave frequently, you need others. If you engrave different surfaces as you need them or if you do mass numbers at a time, you look for certain tools.
Where to start?
Put some serious effort into assessing your needs. A small but successful trophy store has certain needs. A manufacturer that produces tools and components has other needs. And, the business that engraves numbers or barcodes for warranties and inventory has yet another set of problems.
Lorraine Ross, writing for EngraversJournal.com, even describes “tech tatts.” She says, “Some of the most popular items being engraved today include iPods and mp3 players, laptop computers and cellphones, but lasers are also making their mark on items such as digital cameras, USB flash drives, PDAs and handheld gaming systems like Nintendo’s Gameboy and Sony’s PSP.”
The best laser engraving machines handle multiple surfaces: wood, glass, metal, and plastic. They might simply etch in some number or name, or they might create designs, logos, textures, and images.
Shortlist the features.
Image via Flickr
Once you are clear on your needs, create a checklist of must have features. Because you will find many of the same features on many machines, you should whittle the list down.
Start with the size of the device’s bed. You need enough surface area to fit the materials you expect to engrave. You don’t want more surface area than you need, but you do want enough space for flexibility.
Study the bed mechanism. It will either stay put or move up and down. The stationary bed lets you engrave on flat surfaces, but the movable bed helps you engrave multi-dimensional shapes, like cylinders, cubes, cones, or odd shapes.
Try the device and request test runs on various machines. As a blog at HaiTechLasers asks, “Did you know that a laser engraving machine is as easy to use as a computer printer?” While that’s true, you want to confirm that you and your staff can use it with comfort.
Count the wattage.
Image via Pixabay
Laser power is measured in Watts. More watts help you engrave faster and more accurately. It doesn’t have anything to do with the strength of the laser.
Service is measured in convenience. Laser engraving machines have complex innards. Even the best may break down now and then or with heavier than expected use. So, you want to shop service and support as well as machine features.
Training is measured by the short learning curve. You’ll want a relationship that provides the hands-on support when you want it, that has the parts you might need, and that can train on a continuing basis.
Price is a measure of matching the machine with your needs. You do not want to overbuy, but you do want the opportunity to upgrade and grow with your customer demand.
The quality of any purchase is as good as the warranty. As observes say, “This requires manufacturers to provide a strong after-sales service guarantee. You need that assurance against their failure that comes inevitably when you buy cheap.
For every use
You’ll find lessons at Instuctables.com on how to turn a child’s drawing into a charming piece of jewelry. And, jewelry makers engraving uses high tech laser engraving routinely.
But, the machines are in increasing demand in automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics, and firearms industries. When you’re open to the purchase, start shopping smart.