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Vision: 10 Benefits of Rotary Engravers

Dec 11, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision: 10 Benefits of Rotary Engravers

  1. Rotary engraving is environmentally friendly, creating no fumes or residues other than chips, which are removed by a simple vacuum. Laser systems burn material and require extraction systems within your facility. When burning any type of plastic, lacquered or painted products, a charcoal and particulates filter should be used to collect hazardous fumes and dust.
  2. Rotary engravers allow for the use of different sized cutting tools. This allows you to engrave in fine detail with a small cutter, and engrave large areas quickly with a larger tool.
  3. Allow for beveled-edge cutouts.
  4. Rotary Engravers allow you to engrave onto PVC, which is toxic when lasered.
  5. Our Vision Rotary Engravers will drill holes and automatically insert braille beads to easily create ADA compliant signs.
  6. With a rotary engraver you are able to engrave on uneven or warped surfaces with a nosecone to create uniform engraving over your entire item.
  7. Rotary engravers give you the ability to mark metals, including stainless steel, without the extra time and expense of applying a chemical coating.
  8. Rotary engraving plastic materials can cost 20-50% less per sheet than laser materials (based on current engraving plastic catalog prices).
  9. Rotary engravers are typically less expensive to purchase and maintain than a laser engraver. No specialized cleaning, critical alignment, or periodic recharging is required.
  10. Rotary machines form facets when engraving, creating depth and richness in the look of the finished product.

-Vision Engraving & Routing Systems 

Laser Cut and Engrave Christmas Ornaments

Dec 4, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

How to Laser Cut and Engrave Christmas Ornaments

It is that time of year again! Your Christmas tree is up, your decorations are out, and the lights are hung. You step back to admire the holiday cheer but something still feels like it is missing.Wood-ornaments-460x690
Don’t worry. We have the perfect fix! Whether you are looking for inspiration this holiday season or simply are looking for additions to your Christmas décor, these fun and festive ornaments are perfect for every household.

Made from finished alder wood, you can now download some customizable designs to fit your own personal holiday style.

Get started with this CorelDraw Christmas File!

Materials Needed:

– 1/8” Laser Wood

– Universal Laser Systems

Uniquely Universal: Advanced Materials Processing Center

Nov 15, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Advanced Materials Processing Center

The state-of-the-art Advanced Materials Processing Center (AMPC) plays a key role in the end-to-end support offered to our customers. The goal of the AMPC is to advance laser material processing science and develop technology innovations that address the critical needs of our customers. Through the AMPC, we apply years of knowledge and expertise in laser materials processing to support customers in their decision-making from configuration to deployment and beyond. All ULS customers benefit from the ongoing research and development of the AMPC as it remains a resource to them as their business may expand or change.

As a result of our constant research and development of laser material processing, we are able to provide customers unique products and an extensive, ever expanding Intelligent Materials Database that is integrated into our laser system control software that is available on all ULS systems.

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The Intelligent Materials Database automatically calculates optimized laser material processing settings for hundreds of materials. This eliminates the need for users to develop settings through trial and error. Whether the ULS system is used as a “laser cutter”, “laser engraver”, “laser marker” or a combination of processes, the Intelligent Materials Database allows users to achieve professional quality results without undue effort.

The AMPC identifies compatible materials to add to the materials database based on a set of criteria and general understanding of the material characteristics and the potential use of the material. Each material goes through testing and analysis to develop a compatibility profile for laser material processing. Below are examples of the types of tests included in our comprehensive assessment before adding settings to our materials database:

1. Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) – testing of the material to determine the smallest HAZ  possible

2. Compatible Laser Processes – testing of the material with different wavelengths and power levels to determine which processes of laser cutting, engraving and/or marking are compatible with the material

3. Uniformity – applying the laser processes of cutting, engraving and marking across a graphic to ensure consistency of results

4.  Edge Quality Optimization – testing to determine the optimal edge quality for the material when laser cutting (ex. smooth polish on acrylic edges; no serration along edge)

5. Change of Appearance – testing of the material to determine potentially desirable and undesirable effects on the material

6. Material Integrity – testing of the material to determine whether the integrity of the material is impacted by a laser process

7.Effluent Analysis – testing of the material to identify any environmental, hazardous health or safety considerations when using the material with laser technology

– Universal Laser Systems, www.ulsinc.com

Direct To Garment with UV DCS Printers

Oct 30, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

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Superior DTG Printing with Our Patent Pending UV T-Shirt Printer Technology

Direct-to-Garment, or DTG, printing is a big business. Companies everywhere are branding themselves with t-shirts, and they could be looking at businesses like yours to get them printed quickly. However, a subpar t-shirt image is not going to do anybody any good. With our  t-shirt capable UV printers, you can wow your clients with clear images while executing the simplest DTG printing process you have ever used.

What Makes Our DTG Printing Process Better

With traditional DTG printing, there are often lengthy pre-treatments involved, and the quality can sometimes be questionable. However, when you use our UV t-shirt printers (Direct Jet UVMVP, 1800z and 7200z series F4 or F6 Editions), you no longer have to worry about harsh chemical pre-treatments, and you can be confident that the quality of the finished product will be worthy of a reputation boost. Here are just some of the reasons our DTG printing process is superior to the rest:

  • This is the first time ever you can print on all types of t-shirts, including 100% cotton, cotton blends, synthetics, and 100% polyester, without having to use any harsh chemical pre-treatments.
  • The only time any garment preparation is necessary (spray with water) is if you are using a white under base.
  • In addition to DTG printing, our UV t-shirt printers can be used with a variety of other rigid substrates.
  • The prints on the t-shirts are extraordinarily durable. They are resistant to fading even with multiple washes.
  • You can use the same process to print on both light and dark t-shirts with our UV t-shirt printers

Why Use Our UV T-Shirt Printers

Whether you are looking to improve your current DTG printing services or you want to enter into the market for the first time, our UV t-shirt printers will help you stand out from your competitors by a landslide. And since you can now effortlessly print on any type of t-shirt fabric, you can expand your offerings into athletic apparel, costumes, and so much more. The quick and easy DTG printing process means you can produce more shirts in less time and increase your profits dramatically.

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— written by Michael Perrelli, DCS Marketing Manager

Getting Started with Vision: Solutions to Common Engraving Problems

Oct 16, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Vision: Common Engraving Problems Answered 

There are many common questions that arise when someone is just starting out in the engraving business or learning to engrave on a new material.  Below are a few of the most common engraving issues, and solutions to these problems.

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Question 1. “Why is the engraving on my item slanted?”

There are a few things that could be causing your engraving to come out slanted on your item. First, check your material for squareness. If your piece is not cut with right angles it may not be aligning to the table correctly. Next, check to see that the material is aligned properly against the edge guided. If your material is aligned to the guides properly, make sure it is not moving during the engraving process, you may want to try using multi mat or hold fixture to securely hold your material.

Always inspect the job before removing it from the table. You may be able to salvage it, or you may be able to analyze the problem to avoid repeating it.

Question 2. “Why do I get ‘shadowing’ when I engrave certain materials?”

There are a few things to try if you get a ‘shadowing’ effect while engraving. If your material came with a protective film cover, leave it on while engraving. This will keep the nosecone from scratching the material. You can also try switching from a metal nosecone to a plastic nosecone which is less likely to leave marks on the material.

Ensure your nosecone is not damaged. Any burrs or roughness can cause it to scratch the material. If your nosecone appears to be damaged, try using an emery cloth to polish it, or replace it with a new one.

Try reducing the spindle spring pressure on your machine. Excessive down pressure will leave a rub mark on almost any plastic material.

Question 3. “Why are there ‘tails’ and ‘swirls’ in the corners of my engraving?”

If you are getting swirls in the corners of your engraving your cutter speed may be too fast in relation to your XY speed. Slow your spindle speed down, or increase your table speed.

Using a worn or damaged cutter may also cause  tails or swirls in your engraving. You can have it re-sharpened or replace it.

Question 4. “Why is my text engraving poorly?”

Your letter quality may be poor if you are using too fast of an engraving speed. Try slowing down your engraving and spindle speeds to improve letter quality.

If you are using diamond drag engraving, your down pressure may be set too high. Reduce the pressure and the engraving quality should improve.

Also be sure that your cutter is not dull or damaged, and your material is secured firmly to the table. If your material moves during the engraving process the letters can become warped and distorted.

— Vision Engraving & Routing Systems 

Universal Laser System Interfaces – BEST IN INDUSTRY

Oct 2, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Universal Laser System Interface – BEST IN INDUSTRY

The Universal Control Panel (UCP) and the Laser System Manager (LSM) are user interfaces that control ULS laser systems. Both user interfaces are configured intuitively, enabling all users to produce expert quality results. Both include a Printer Driver and Direct Import Feature for uploading graphic designs. They also provide an Intelligent Materials Database that calculates optimized settings for laser processing on hundreds of materials. The Intelligent Materials Database also allows for manual override control for adjusting laser material processing settings. Both the Universal Control Panel (UCP) and the Laser System Manager (LSM) also provide a Duplicate feature for creating multiple instances of a design file and an Estimator feature that provides accurate calculation of processing times for every laser material processing job. Benefits provided by both interfaces include the following:

  • Ease of Use
  • High Productivity
  • Laser Material Processing Flexibility
  • Laser Material Processing Quality

How the Universal Control Panel (UCP) and the Laser System Manager (LSM) Work

Universal Laser Systems provides two user interfaces. The UCP supports the VLS, PLS and ILS platforms. The LSM supports the XLS platform. Both interfaces allow users to execute laser processing operations with three easy steps:

  1. Print or Direct Import the design file.
  2. Select the material from the materials database and enter thickness.
  3. Press “Start.”

In addition to this streamlined work flow, the UCP and LSM provide many powerful features that greatly enhance productivity, ROI, flexibility and quality. The LSM provides additional features such as segment reduction, line simplification and smoothing, kerf compensation, and drill and pierce modes.

Ease of Use

The user interfaces are designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Running laser processes with these interfaces is as easy as 1-2-3. The user first uploads or prints the design file. Virtually any design file format can be used. The next step is to select the material from the Materials Database and enter a thickness. The database automatically calculates the optimized laser settings. The final step is to press “Start” to begin laser processing.

High Productivity

Direct Import

Design files in PDF and DXF formats can be directly imported into the UCP and LSM. The LSM has the additional ability to accept STL and G-code formats. The Direct Import feature has the advantage of preserving the integrity of the original design file, unlike competitive laser systems that rely on printer drivers only.

Intelligent Materials Database

The Intelligent Materials Database can calculate optimized laser settings for hundreds of materials. This eliminates the need for users to develop settings through trial and error, saving substantial time and materials. The materials database window makes it easy for users to select the proper material. The optimum settings are then calculated automatically enabling the user to achieve professional quality laser material processing results.

Duplicate

Any design file can easily be duplicated to fill the entire laser processing field (as shown in the images below). The user simply uploads the graphic and then selects the Duplicate feature. The user can either choose to create a certain number of duplicates or fill the entire processing field with as many duplicates that will fit. This is ideal for maximizing manufacturing efficiency.

Estimate

The Estimate feature allows users to compare processing throughputs with various laser system configurations. Estimates can be run with different platforms, different laser powers, and different throughput enhancing options (such as SuperSpeedTM) to determine what configuration will deliver the best throughput for a particular laser processing operation. This helps customers to optimize their return on investment (ROI).

Storage and Organization

All laser processing settings needed to execute a particular laser process are stored and organized so that they can be recalled easily for future use. The user interface can store 2,000 different files. Files can also be exported in a proprietary EMF format for use on other ULS laser cutting, engraving, and marking machines.

Laser Material Processing Flexibility

The Manual Controls feature allows users to enter laser settings for specific materials and applications. Every laser processing parameter can be controlled individually using the manual controls, providing unlimited processing flexibility.

Laser Material Processing Quality

The Camera Registration option, enabled by the user interfaces, automates the alignment of vector paths and raster strokes with the material for the purpose of tightening process control. It automatically aligns design files with pre-printed graphic designs on the material to compensate for misalignment or stretching of the material. This ensures high laser processing accuracy.

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CorelDraw x8 Tips & Tricks: INSTALLING FONTS

Sep 25, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

CorelDraw x8 Tips & Tricks: INSTALLING FONTS

Using different fonts allows you to quickly and easily customize a design.   Watch the video below to learn how to find and install fonts onto your computer so that you can use them in CorelDraw X8.

Laser Maintenance Tips: Extend the Life of Your Laser

Sep 18, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Laser Maintenance Tips: Extend the Life of Your Laser

If you have been in the laser engraving business for a few years, you have probably discovered just how important the operation of your laser truly is.  With a laser you can produce tens of thousands of profitable work each year.  You probably have also discovered that your laser can go down at any time.  Given the importance of lasers today, even in the smallest of shops, the best protection against a costly laser outage is to understand your laser, plan for it, and properly maintain the functioning of your laser.  While there are a number of variables that affect the service life of a laser engraver, below are some service and cleaning tips to follow to help keep your laser running smoothly.

Belts and Bearings   

In most cases the main thing two that needs replacing every 2-3 years would be the belts and bearings.

Be sure to clean all axis rails frequently, doing this will cause less wear and could even give you more than 2-3 years.

  1. X-axis Belt (2-3 yrs depending on use).
  2. X-bearings (replace same time as X-axis belt.)
  3. Y axis (5-6 years this belt gets little wear since it doesn’t move as fast as the X-axis belt).
  4. Y-bearings (replace same time as X-axis belt.)

Optics

Optics are replaced only if after a visual inspection.  Signs of wear include:

  • Cracks/scratches in the lens or mirrors
  • Discoloration:

Lens- (if you see a bluish circle/ring in the middle)

*Normal lenses are a gold/yellow color.

  • Mirrors- (Pale pink color in the center of mirror)

*Normal color is Red.

Laser Cartridges

Laser cartridges last anywhere from 4-6 years.

*Usually a damaged optic can simulate a faulty laser cartridge, check your optics before thinking it could be your laser cartridge.

Signs your laser cartridge needs replacing.

  1. Loss of power (cutting/vectoring quality is poor/loss)
  2. Image quality poor (banding/skipping when rastering)

We will also test the laser tube for free! Call us to schedule a time that you can bring in the laser cartridge.

-Noe, Engravers Network In-house Service Technician

Tips & Tricks: How to Make Font Folders for Vision Software

Jul 31, 17 • Front Page, TipsNo Comments

Tips & Tricks: How to Make Font Folders for Vision Software

Sometimes it’s helpful to have a folder that has only the fonts you use.  This is how to do that:

Open the Vision software and click on Text Tools, then click on Frame Text Compose.

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Click on the Font Detective, then Options, then Add Group.

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For this example we used Trophy Fonts for the name, but you can name the folder what you need it to be.  If you are just putting a few fonts in the folder, it’s easier to check “which is initially empty” and click OK.

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Make sure the new folder is showing in the window, click Options again, then Edit Group.

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From here, the desired fonts for the new folder can be picked.  Choose the folder that has the fonts you want and just add desired fonts to the new folder.  When you’re done, just click OK, then Select.

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The new Font folder will be in your list with the new fonts ready to use.

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— Vision Admin, Vision Engravers

Texas Trophy Show 2017

Jul 24, 17 • Front Page, NewsNo Comments

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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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