If you’re using a laser to permanently cut an image or pattern into a material, you’re laser etching. People use lasers to mark awards, decorations and tools. The’re used to cut precision patterns into fabrics or efficiently cut garments in productions. The technology is advancing at a rapid rate and popularity is picking up. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a laser etching machines or simply want to know more, keep reading.
Two general types
The two types of machines for laser etching are hand-held or machine-operated. Hand-held variants are often used by individuals working in smaller companies, individuals making precise corrections to mass productions errors or individuals do very personalized work.
Machine-operated etching machines are often used in the mass production of items. There are owned by medium to large sized companies that have high numbers of orders. If you’re looking to get into laser etching, you should take into consideration the type of work you’ll be doing, the numbers and what materials you’ll be working on.
When selecting a machine
Once you know which it is that you need the next things to consider are: price, waranty and operation. Also, a laser etching will draw a lot of power, so your electricity bill should be worked into your budget. A good warranty will protect you from possible overheating caused by the massive power draw and subsequent heat in your machine. The warranty will help protect your investment from the cost of overheated internal parts.
An industrial scale laser etching machine will likely run between 8000 USD to 25000 USD. This can be steep for some people, so keep this in mind when deciding if this business is for you. The prices are another reason it’s so important to research what machine to buy. You only need the features and capabilities relevent to what you plan to do. Keeping this in mind can save you money.
If you’re the only individual running your laser etching shop, by all means, pick what you want. However, if you intend to have workers, ease of operation is a great feature to have on your machine. Extensively training employees should be common practice, but doing so from the beginning may not be something you want to do at the moment. An easy-to-use machine, with a simple interface is best for a starting company. The staff will thank you and you’ll like your staff a lot more this way.
There are a ton of options out there, so if you don’t know where to look, you can start by checkout out some from Needham.
That little something extra
Be creative, you can engrave pretty much anything that can fit into your machine. If you’re talented with a hand-held etching machine, you can engrave anything. Use this to your advantage. It may take a bit of mental flexibility, but you’ll find a way.
Don’t be afraid to sell your etching services. Customers may not know what laser etching is, what it’s about or why they would want anything laser etched at all. As a business owner, it’s literally your job to change this. Be passionate about what you do and the services your potential company would provide. You’re goal should be to make them passionate too.
There are a ton of reasons to get into the laser etching business. Hopefully, for you, one of them is that you’re interested in the technology. Being innovative and creative in application will never hurt.