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Vision 10 Tool Paths Grouped With Objects

Sep 9, 19 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

In the Vision 10, tool paths are grouped with the objects they are put on which is not always desired.  To change this setting and have the tool paths separate, go to the top ribbon in the vision software, left click on Options, hover cursor over Vision Setup, left click on System Preferences.

Once inside System Preferences, left click on Tool Path Preferences at the top, uncheck Group tool paths with originals, and left click on Apply at the bottom.

By setting up the software this way, you can move the tool path, node edit tool path (which have to do to apply bridges), etc.

— Vision Engraving & Routing Systems, August 2019

CO2, Fiber, or Both – What Types of Laser Sources Do I Need?

Sep 3, 19 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

CO2 and fiber lasers are the most common laser types for material processing including laser cutting, laser engraving, and laser marking. This overview introduces the materials appropriate for CO2 lasers and fiber lasers at power levels below 200 watts. It also introduces links to resources to help you determine the best laser system configuration for your requirements.

Materials for CO2 Laser Processing

The focused energy from a CO2 laser below 200 watts is used primarily for processing organic materials, but it can do some processing of inorganic, non-metallic materials. With high enough laser power density achieved by using special optics, CO2 lasers at these power levels can also mark some metals. Here are the processes and materials CO2 lasers are used for:

CO2 Cutting and Marking/Engraving

For cutting with 150 watts or less, a practical maximum thickness limit from .125 inch (3.2mm) to 1.0 inch (25.4mm) applies to many organic materials. The limit varies greatly depending on material density and composition. Some low-density foam materials up to 2.0 inches (50.8mm) thick can also be cut. The maximum thickness for cutting and speed of processing are heavily influenced by the amount of applied laser energy, so more power (75–150 watts) is recommended for processing thicker material or for higher productivity.

The following materials are suitable for CO2 laser cutting, engraving, and marking:

  • Plastics
  • Rubbers/Elastomers
  • Foams
  • Fabrics
  • Papers
  • Woods
  • Composites (if metal or other inorganic content is minimal)

CO2 Marking/Engraving (No Cutting)

Numerous materials can be marked or engraved with CO2 laser energy below 200 watts because there is enough laser energy for noticeable surface interaction but not enough energy to penetrate all the way through a material for cutting. Generally, if a material is inorganic and heat resistant (doesn’t melt or has a very high melting point), it cannot be laser cut with a CO2 laser rated under 200 watts.

The following materials are suitable for CO2 laser marking and, in some cases, shallow engraving:

  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Stone
  • Steel and Titanium (surface marking)

Metal marking is difficult with CO2 lasers because metal reflects or conducts most of the laser energy away from the focal point. To make steel and titanium surface marking possible with laser power as low as 25 watts, Universal Laser Systems (ULS) developed and patented exclusive High Power Density Focusing Optics (HPDFO™) that concentrate laser energy by focusing it to a significantly smaller focal spot size than possible with any standard optical system. Concentrating laser energy into a smaller spot dramatically increases power density to overcome the energy loss of reflection and conduction, enabling steel and titanium marking. Learn more about HPDFO.

Materials for Fiber Laser Processing

Fiber lasers rated 100 watts or less are used primarily for marking/engraving metal materials. The shorter wavelength of fiber lasers (compared with CO2 lasers) is absorbed by metal much more efficiently. The advantages of fiber lasers with metal are the ability to mark more metal types, penetrate below the surface of the metal, and mark/engrave faster than CO2 lasers of a similar power rating. Fiber lasers are also used for surface marking certain plastics that have fillers that absorb and react to the fiber laser energy.

Fiber Laser Marking/Engraving

The following materials are suitable for fiber laser marking and, in some cases, shallow engraving:

  • Metal (most types)
  • Plastics – including black acetal, black acrylic, black PTFE, and other plastics with laser receptive additives, fillers, or pigments. For most of these, it is not the organic plastic that absorbs and reacts to laser energy, it is the pigments, fillers, or other additives that react to the fiber laser energy.

Fiber lasers are also used to selectively remove thin metallic coatings on substrates not affected by fiber laser energy, including glass and PET plastic film.

Next Steps

The selection of laser or lasers you chose depends heavily on your processing requirements.

Before deciding on a configuration, consider all the materials important for you now and in the future. You can use our online tool to help configure a laser system with the correct laser sources to meet your material processing requirements.

 — Universal Laser Systems, August 2019

Universal Tips: Customer Custom Material Database

Dec 3, 18 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

Customer Custom Material Database

**It’s always a good idea to make a backup of the Custom Database file before updating or rolling back UCP versions**

This document was written for Windows 7 but it will be the same process for both Windows 8 and Windows 10 as well.  Some steps in Windows 8 and Windows 10 may look a little different from how they appear in Windows 7 but the file locations & file names will be identical between Windows 7 and Windows 8/Windows 10.

First thing if not already done is to unhide hidden folders.

Open “Folder Options”

Quick way: Click Start on the menu bar and in the search box type “hidden” then select “Show Hidden files and folders.”

Under files and Folders check “show hidden files, folders, and drives” then click apply and OK.

Next open C:\ProgramData\ULSDAT by selecting primary drive, Open ProgramData and then open “ULSDAT.”

Scroll down until you see “ULSMatCustom.fdb”

Select this file and right click and select “copy.”

Save/Paste the Copy file in another location, i.e Libraries\Documents

Next, go back to ULSDAT folder and name ULSMatCustom.fdb to ULSMatCustom_Original .fdb

This makes a backup of the customers original custom db file for that date in the event you have to roll back or file is
corrupted.

Now the file that was saved in Libraries/Documents (or wherever it was saved), copy and paste it back into the original folder. This does not mean move the file back into the original folder but make a copy of it back into the original file location.

Alternatively, right click and select copy. Then right click and select “rename.”

Rename the file to “ULSMatCustom_Original .fdb”. Then “paste” saved file so that ULSMatCutom and ULSMatCustom_Original are displayed in the same folder.

Now, if the customer needs/wants their Custom Database transferred to another computer, copy “ULSMatCustom.fdb” onto a USB drive (or e‐mail, or CD, or however it will be easy to transfer this file) and move this file onto the other computer: putting it in the same file directory at C:\ProgramData\ULSDAT.

DOWNLOAD PDF

– Chris S, Engravers Network/ Universal Technician 

Universal Laser Systems Expands its Material Database

Aug 28, 18 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

Universal Laser Systems Expands Its Materials Database with Dyneema, Quadrant and ISOVOLTA Materials

Universal Laser Systems (ULS) has expanded its unique materials database with the addition of Dyneema®, Quadrant and ISOVOLTA materials. This proprietary materials database, which is the most extensive repository of laser material processing parameters, automatically calculates optimized processing settings for materials based on laser wavelength and power ranging from 10 watts to 500 watts.

The Dyneema, Quadrant and ISOVOLTA materials new to the ULS materials database were specifically added for laser processing with the ULTRA and XLS platforms, suited for high accuracy and precision laser cutting, laser ablation and laser surface modification.

The materials include:

·         Dyneema® UHMWPE Fabric
·         Dyneema® Composite Fabric
·         Quadrant Acetron® GP Acetal
·         Quadrant Ketron® PEEK 1000

Laser processing notes, describing the results of the laser-material interaction for these materials, are also available in the Materials Library on the ULS website to help potential customers explore the advantages of deploying laser technology within their manufacturing, research and development, and prototyping activities.

Learn more about these materials in our 
Materials Library or about the materials database on www.ulsinc.com.

Laser-Induced Graphene Technology Enabled by the XLS10MWH from Universal Laser Systems®

Jul 12, 18 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

Laser-Induced Graphene Technology Enabled by the XLS10MWH from
Universal Laser Systems®

In 2014, a research team at Rice University discovered that they could convert the surface of a plastic film to graphene by exposing it to a CO2 laser beam. Since then the team, led by Prof. James M. Tour, has been working diligently to refine the Laser-Induced Graphene (LIG) process and to explore new applications for this versatile material. The LIG development work at Rice is enabled by an XLS10MWH with MultiWave Hybrid™ technology from Universal Laser Systems.

The LIG technology developed at Rice University represents a vast improvement over previous methods of forming graphene, which are multi-step processes requiring expensive vacuum furnaces or harsh chemicals. By contrast, the LIG process creates graphene in a single step in a normal room air environment.  This reduces production cost and complexity.  

For a full review of the LIG process and its many applications, please link to Rice University’s recent publication in the journal
Accounts of Chemical Research.


3 Reasons to Step Up to Advanced Material Processing

Jul 2, 18 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

3 Reasons to Step Up to Advanced Material Processing

ULS blog

Top reasons companies like yours prefer to use Universal Laser Systems (ULS) technology in their businesses:
  • Ability to process a broad spectrum of materials –including composites, elastomers, foams, metals, fabrics, films, engineering plastics, as well as many new materials still under development
  • Unsurpassed versatility – many different types of operations, which typically requireseparate equipment, can be performed on a single system, in one seamless step
  • Extreme flexibility – systems are designed to be almost instantaneously reconfigurable to address current and future business need

Thousands of organizations around the world have successfully integrated and are benefiting from Universal Laser Systems advanced material processing technology every day. You can too!

              Visit Website               Request a Sample           Schedule a Demo

websit   request sample    demo

 

Texas Trophy Show 2017

Jul 24, 17 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

texas-trophy-show

Sign up now to attend the greatest little trophy show in Texas!!

We are back at the South Shore Resort in League City this year and are looking forward to spending some time with you.

Come out and visit with the industry’s top suppliers, learn a new trick or two, make new friends, and have a great time.

When Friday, August 4 & Saturday, August 5

Hours 10-5 Fri // 10-2:30 Sat

Where South Shore Harbor Resort, 2500 South Shore Blvd. League City, Texas 77573

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International Awards & Personalization Expo

Feb 6, 17 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

International Awards & Personalization Expo

Schedule a demonstration with us during the show and receive a $25 poker chip!

Universal Laser Systems: Booth #1818
Vision Engravers: Booth #1414
Direct Color Systems (Johnson Plastics): Booth #1623

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Join Us in Las Vegas February 7-10

Experience it all at the 2017 International Awards & Personalization Expo – dedicated to activating ideas to enhance your business. Don’t miss this opportunity to spend dedicated time learning about processes and products, experiencing hands-on training, and connecting with industry colleagues.

If you’re involved with engraving, sublimation, sand carving, UV printing, or any personalization process, this is THE event for you!

Why Attend?

  • Network with an exclusive community of suppliers, distributors, and peers.
  • Discover innovative solutions to your most pressing business challenges.
  • Expand your training base and knowledge levels.

Check out the brochure for more information on the International Expo experience!

Registration is open.

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Upcoming Events!

Feb 1, 17 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

ASI Show Dallas • Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center • Halls E & F
Education: Wednesday, February 1 • Exhibits: Thursday-Friday, February 2-3

 

International Awards & Personalization Expo •  Las Vegas February 7-10  •  February 7–10, 2017Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino

REDUCE YOUR TAXES: Tax Benefit for 2016, Section 179 Deduction

Oct 17, 16 • Front Page, News, TipsNo Comments

REDUCE YOUR TAXES: Tax Benefit for 2016, Section 179 Deduction

2016 is flying by and before you know it 2016 will come to an end. However, for many companies this is one of the busiest times of the year.  Production is in full demand!   Now is the time to purchase new and/or additional equipment for your business! Not only can it benefit production time but also provides BIG SAVINGS!   The “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act) expanded the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000, and made it permanent.  This means up to $500, 000 in qualifying new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software, may be expensed this year if it is placed into service by the end of the day, December 31, 2016.

The PATH Act also reinstated the 50% Bonus Depreciation, and extended it through 2019. Businesses of all sizes will be able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and put in service during 2016 and 2017; even after the Section 179 deduction is taken, and all in the first year!

PATH Act

LIMITS OF SECTIONS 179

Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($500,000 for 2016), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($2,000,000 in 2016). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $2,000,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR SECTION 179

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $2,000,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2016 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.

Most tangible goods including “off-the-shelf” software qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $2,000,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

2016 is flying by and before you know it 2016 will come to an end. However, for many companies this is one of the busiest times of the year.  Production is in full demand!   Now is the time to purchase new and/or additional equipment for your business! Not only can it benefit production time but also provides BIG SAVINGS!   The “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” (PATH Act) expanded the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000, and made it permanent.  This means up to $500, 000 in qualifying new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software, may be expensed this year if it is placed into service by the end of the day, December 31, 2016.

The PATH Act also reinstated the 50% Bonus Depreciation, and extended it through 2019. Businesses of all sizes will be able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and put in service during 2016 and 2017; even after the Section 179 deduction is taken, and all in the first year!

LIMITS OF SECTIONS 179

Section 179 does come with limits – there are caps to the total amount written off ($500,000 for 2016), and limits to the total amount of the equipment purchased ($2,000,000 in 2016). The deduction begins to phase out dollar-for-dollar after $2,000,000 is spent by a given business, so this makes it a true small and medium-sized business deduction.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR SECTION 179

All businesses that purchase, finance, and/or lease less than $2,000,000 in new or used business equipment during tax year 2016 should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction.

Most tangible goods including “off-the-shelf” software qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

The deduction begins to phase out if more than $2,000,000 of equipment is purchased – in fact, the deduction decreases on a dollar for dollar scale after that, making Section 179 a deduction specifically for small and medium-sized businesses.

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