Maybe you want to add personalization to your business?
Why not invest in a laser cutter and engraving machine?
Technology has reached a point where everyday individuals can purchase an entry-level laser cutter for an affordable price.
If you’re a business and want to take it to the next level, there are upgrade options as well.
However, if you’re new to the idea of laser cutting and engraving you may not know what to look for.
Things to Consider
Regardless of if you want an engraving machine for your personal or professional use, here is what you need to consider.
With so many new unknowns you may have no real clue what to go with, how much to spend, and what is right for your business.
Even if you work in the printing and manufacturing industry, laser cutting and engraving is an entirely different beast. Here you’re often working with everything from hard metals to extremely soft material that might break if not engraved correctly.
Yes, above everything else, know how much you can pay (and afford). The laser cutters and engraving machines we’re covering here range from just under $2000 to nearly $10,0000. So as you can see, there is a substantial price difference.
Now, even if you’re looking for professional equipment doesn’t mean you need to drop 10 grand. In fact, you may find the best option for your company’s needs costs just a few hundred. In general, it’s a good idea to at least have a general idea with what you’re comfortable spending.
2. Material Options
What kind of materials do you want to personalize? Some of these laser cutters and engraving machines will only work on softer materials, such as leather or glossy applications you can place on mugs. Others will work with metal. This will play a very big role in what the right engraving machine is for you. If you want to engrave on metal there are very specific machines you need to consider. If you want to print only on leather or software materials there are other options out there.
How much space do you have to work with? Do you need something that will fit on your desk, or are you alright with a stand-alone device that is about the size of a desk on its own? As you increase the price point and boost the features you’ll also find many of these devices are substantially larger (and heavier) than what you find on the less expensive side of the spectrum.
The size of the engraving machine isn’t always obvious by the pictures, so make sure to look into the product specs. You don’t need to have UPS at your door, only to find the package is as big as the actual front door. Always know the specs prior to orderin
4. Software Compatibility
With a laser cutter and engraver, you’ll have one of two options. The first is to force all of your work into software that comes specifically with the engraver. The second option is an engraver that will work with your software. This way, if you create something in CAD or an Adobe property you can transfer it over to the engraver.
Typically, the included software is going to cost less but it may reduce your ability to fully realize your creative side, as you’ll be forced to stay within certain fonts and designs.
This is where you need to know exactly what your plans are ahead of time, otherwise, you might end up with a laser cutter and engraving machine that doesn’t do what you need.
5. Connection Options
How does the engraving machine connect to your computer? This may not be as important for some while for others it is extremely important. With most, you’ll find there is a USB connection. However, others might connect via Bluetooth or a 2.4GHz wireless interface. If you don’t mind a wired connection you shouldn’t have a problem. Other times, if you want to free up your workspace, you should consider a device that uses wireless technology.
The data are for reference only