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Best applications for a laser engraver

BY READERS DIGEST

2nd Dec 2021 Life

Best applications for a laser engraver

Over the last 40 or so years, the printing industry has been completely upended with the advent of Desktop Publishing (DTP) and the release of affordable home printers that are capable of rivalling those used in professional print companies.

How it works is easy to understand. A laser will remove the surface or change the colour of a surface using the application of heat. It can work alongside print technology, showing the advancements made in this sector.

While once these laser engraving machines were very much the preserve of only cash-rich firms, laser cutting devices have tumbled in price in recent years, making them well within the reach of start-up entrepreneurs or even home hobbyists – a trend also seen with 3D printers.

Practical - and potentially commercial - uses for a laser engraver

Whether you’ve already invested in a laser engraver or are considering doing so, below are some ideas that could see you making the most of your machine and, potentially, turning a profit.

Yes, that's right, you can make good money laser engraving and cutting custom crafts and selling them on shops like Etsy, eBay, or at craft fairs in your local area. As long as you have a commercial-use laser cutter, you can create all of the following:

Personalised gifts: Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries . . . the list goes on regarding special days we’re expected to celebrate with our loved ones. If you struggle to keep finding innovative gift ideas, a laser engraver could answer your woes. Laser cutting machines are capable of engraving on a wide range of materials, meaning you could give fully personalised gifts featuring everything from the person’s name to special messages or even images. As laser engravers are powered by software, you simply input your design then leave the machine to perform its magic. For a better idea of how engravers work, take a look at this laser engraver UK website to get an in-depth guide.

Engraved phone cases: Almost all of us have a smartphone these days, so what better gift could there be than a customised phone case made from wood, plastic or even metal. Also, a phone case is made of durable materials that will help protect the phone from those all too common mishaps like bumps, dents or cracked screens.

Laser engraved maps of somewhere special: If you and your partner have travelled somewhere special together, there surely can be few better ways to mark the moment than by designing and producing a laser-cut map. As lasers can cut into hard materials, your map will be far more durable and longer-lasting than simple paper or card copies, giving an enduring memory of your time spent in your special location.

Use laser cutting on an existing product: The beauty of laser etching is it can be used on almost anything, so if your partner or loved one has a product they’re particularly keen on, why not personalise it with a customised message. For example, if your partner plays violin, a laser cutter could be used to etch a message or symbol into the wooden casing.

All of the above on a commercial basis: If you already own a laser etching machine and have learned to design and engrave already, why not put these abilities to good use and offer your skills on a commercial basis? Not only could you recoup the outlay of buying your machine and gain a Return on Investment (ROI), you will likely also derive great pleasure from offering such an invaluable service to clients.

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