August 09, 2007
LaserEngraver
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Hello! It is been a busy time at LaserU. I have been spending so much time on the laser engraving photos on all different substrates. It has been fun to see my personal pictures come alive. I bet your customers would love this too!

Cooper
Photo Engraving  

Over the past two weeks I have been working on a Photo Engraving CD for LaserBits. In creating this CD I realized we needed to revamp our Course 5 in LaserU. I will be taking all of the information from the CD, which will be for sale at LaserBits (a $40 value) and reformatting it for LaserU. In the next two weeks, you will see a fully revamped Course 5.

Included in this retooled course is information on reasons to include images as part of your business, image types, image sources, processing photos for laser, PhotoGrav, an image gallery and more!

Above is a series of photos I processed with PhotoGrav and engraved on an Alder wood sheet of my son Cooper. The new course will take you through the steps of creating wonderful personalized items for your customers.

 

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Laser Spotlight

Each month we showcase an item, product or skill from LaserU. We give a summary of the item and provide links for more information. This month we will look at Color Fills. For more information you can see Course 6 Lessons 4 & 6 and Course 7 Lessons 4 & 6.

The process of color filling has been often elusive over the years. New materials have become available that make the process more reliable on a wide variety of substrates. The basic idea is to laser engrave a base material to create a recessed area. The recessed area is then filled with a liquid color and the top surface wiped clean to remove any extra color to create a professional addition to any engraved product.

Excellent results can be achieved by learning which base materials are compatible with different color fill materials to create a finished product that is affordable with minimal effort. Take the time to understand both the base material being engraved and the color material being added to reduce production frustration. Typically the laser engraving/color filling process can be accomplished on wood, acrylic, and plastic.

  1. Engrave to a shallow depth - optimal depth is .030" (1mm) - the same thickness as a paper clip.
  2. A little fill goes a long way. Work color fill into the engraved area.
  3. Remove excess fill using a water dampened cloth (avoid paper towels or other cloths that may scratch the surface). Wipe with two light pressure passes instead of one strong pressure pass. Remove most of the excess color and let dry for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a cloth with isopropyl alcohol to remove leftover color.
  4. After removing excess, clean and polish the acrylic with a good acrylic cleaner like Novus 2. The cleaner will remove smoke residue and add sparkle to the finished job.

Color Adds Value
The process of adding color to laser has become increasing simple with the availability of specially formulated products. Customers like the special look of gold, silver and rich colors on their gifts products and will pay for the added brilliance. Sometimes just adding black to an engraved product can help the detail the laser produces to stand out like never before.

Color Fills
 
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Product

For more information on how the above were created, visit LaserU's Learning Center and see Course 6 Lessons 4 & 6 and Course 7 Lessons 4 & 6.

Please send questions and comments to laseru@laserbits.com

See you next month with our next The Laser Engraver Newsletter.

Kathryn