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Beyond Branding: How Laser Cutters are Enhancing and Exciting a Generation of Makers

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From the lab to the classroom, the manufacturing floor to the makerspace, laser cutting/engraving systems are quickly becoming one of the most in-demand tools central to the creative process.

Of course they can do cool stuff like etch your iPad. Or necessary stuff like mark parts and tools with serial numbers or data matrix codes. But far beyond the commercial and cosmetic applications of lasers, they are rapidly becoming one of the most prominent tools on the STEAM scene and in the ever growing maker movement.

While sleek and stylish 3D printers make additive manufacturing seem like a no-brainer, in actuality, subtractive manufacturing using a laser cutter can often be a much faster and less expensive option.

Lasers cut all kinds of inexpensive and readily available substrates like wood, cardstock, acrylic, corrugated cardboard, task board, and so much more. Not only are they versatile in terms of material compatibility, lasers are fast. Like, incredibly fast. Even when you factor in assembly time, laser cutting precise parts and pieces for prototypes or models is both speedy and inexpensive.

3D and Architectural Models: Whether your creation is a home, downtown development, bridge, or railway, laser cutters offer tremendous advantages for this type of three-dimensional fabrication. Utilizing vector-based graphic design software, such as AutoCAD or Illustrator, engineers can design models to nearly any scale. Models made from laser cut pieces can show depth, contrast, and a more accurate representation of a full-scale project.

Art/Décor: Wall art, lamps, and individual statement pieces can all come to life with a laser cutter. Wood, cork, and even plastic are fantastic substrates that allow artists to create stunning installations that are not only functional, but convey their personal style and vision as well.

Prototyping: Laser cutters have long been used to quickly create prototypes for future products and pieces. Robotics clubs and organizations, for example, regularly use this type of equipment to cut parts, components and gears for test robots that, when in their final stage, will be featured in competitions.

Lasers allow operators to take “on-paper” ideas and turn them into the physical pieces from which they will build their design, whatever it may be. Their versatility and ease of use allow designers, makers and engineers of all skill levels to further illuminate even the brightest of designs and concepts.

About Epilog Laser Company

For over 30 years Epilog has been designing and manufacturing industry leading CO2 and fiber laser engraving, cutting, and marking systems.

As we’ve grown we’ve seen our lasers used in a variety of markets, from award creation to guitar customization, from cabinetry design to medical device marking and beyond. The combination of industrial-quality engraving speeds and an affordable price have allowed everyone from makers to engineers to artists to incorporate lasers and find real success.

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