One of the best things about laser cutting and engraving systems is how quickly they can cut out intricate designs or etch a pattern. While this is true, most laser users are searching for effective ways to increase productivity.
For those who are not running their laser as efficiently as possible, now is the time to make some changes. Keep reading for some tips and tricks to do this. Also, remember, the laser cutter used matters. Read customer reviews before making an investment.
Engrave Several Items in a Single Batch
One thing that can help reduce production time is printing several items at once. If someone is dealing with a project that requires them to engrave more than one item with a similar or the same design – such as coasters or plaques – it is smart to print several pieces at once, instead of doing this one at a time.
By engraving items in batches, laser users can experience 37% in total time savings. The number of things that can be engraved at one time depends on the size of the table. To do this, it is necessary to increase the page size in the graphic design program being used to match the laser’s table size. Once done, it is possible to fill up the entire table with a certain piece then engrave them all in a single run. Also, use a jig to space out the items properly.
Adjust the Resolution
Another factor to consider when increasing throughput is the resolution. Having a clear image is essential for any engraving job; however, the higher the DPI is, the closer together the dots will be. This provides an extremely detailed image. While this is true, it may also take longer than most users like.
By reducing the resolution slightly, it is possible to increase time savings by as much as 33%. To help offset a lower resolution, think about using the dithering patterns available in the print driver. With dithering, visual dot patterns with a lower DPI are randomized. This helps to hide the lower resolution. When the right combo of dithering pattern and resolution is used, it is possible to achieve a result that does not take as much time to produce, and that looks great.
Implement Color Mapping
It is possible to use color mapping to help save engraving time. For example, if there is a design with three columns, each may have up to 20 names. Default settings on the laser will view this as a single image and the laser head will move over the white space located between the columns to engage the graphic being printed.
With color mapping, it is possible to skip the white space. This is done by assigning every column a different color. When this method is used, the laser engraves a single column at a time, and will only move over the white space between the columns when it is moving to the next set of names. With this hack, it is possible to save 43% of the time that would be spent on the project otherwise.