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When choosing a laser engraver, it’s best to consider financial factors, the machine’s practical capabilities, and the company selling the machine. The engraver should fit within the purchaser’s budget while maximizing the amount of money that can be made back during its use. The customer should have space to fit the machine and should purchase a machine capable of performing the types of laser engraving desired on the materials used. Finally, the company selling the engraver should provide ongoing customer support if needed.
Laser engravers vary widely in capabilities and the types of surfaces the machine can best engrave upon. X-Y table laser engravers work only on a two-dimensional surface. Others are capable of engraving on cylindrical objects or irregularly-shaped objects through the use of mirrors that direct the laser to the focus point. Sub-surface engravers are capable of focusing a laser below a transparent surface to produce a three-dimensional image that appears suspended within a crystal or glass object.
Anyone who wishes to purchase a laser engraver should consider the materials the machine will be engraving. Many lower-end engravers work well with wood or plastics. Higher-end engravers will be needed for use with stone or glass, which tend to shatter when exposed to many types of lasers. A laser engraver should be easy to learn to use and have a user-friendly interface. The size of the engraver should also be considered for how it will fit into the space designated for its operation.
Budget is a major consideration when choosing a laser engraver, with even low-end engravers a major financial investment. Laser engravers can range to the hundreds of thousands US Dollars. Beyond the initial cost, some engravers require add-ons like cooling systems. Others require significant maintenance costs. If the engraver is to be used to earn income, these costs should be considered along with the price of the machine to determine if the engraver will be profitable.
The company the laser engraver is purchased from is important because most companies will offer will offer varying degrees of customer support after the sale. Just as with any other major purchase, ongoing customer support from representatives that are knowledgeable and accessible can be a valuable resource. A company should be well-established so that it’s likely they will be available for as long as the engraver is in operation.
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