Equipment: The Laser

Applications of Laserbeams

Fine, precise lines, either etched into the surface of an object or slicing perfectly through a material in surprisingly intricate designs. This is the magic our laser possesses. It allows us to create a file in the computer, load the laser and press go. Even though we do a lot of custom projects by hand here at Trademark, our time is precious and so is yours, using the laser helps us make sure we can get projects done fast and efficient. We can use a laser to quickly slice small acrylic letters for interior or exterior branding or even for testing prototypes. When it comes to engraving letters and designs on recognition pieces or wayfinding signage, we rely on this tool heavily. All of these reasons make the Laser a favorite piece of equipment for our fabricators.

The Process

Once a job is sent back to the fabrication shop, we have a finalized design and layout ready for our fabrication crew to utilize. All that is left at that time is to make our concepts a tangible reality. The fabricator will load the material into the laser and calibrate the machine which involves using a small calibration tool to make sure the laser is at the correct height above the material you are working with. At times a job requires us to prep certain materials by applying things like VHB tape to create a perfect adhesion layer on the back, or transfer tape to protect from off-gassing residue. Then the fabricator makes sure all the files are correctly constructed and ready to go so that the laser knows if it is cutting the material or etching it. After that, it’s pretty much as simple as pressing a button.

Prototypes

Lasers are really useful for the speed in which you can prototype and test ideas or construction methods. Our designers and fabricators at Trademark use it regularly to make scaled models of bigger projects. It’s the best tool for quickly building things that require both 2D and 3D properties. This can be done by stacking the material and first running something called an “etch pass” which etches whatever you desire into the surface of your material, followed by a “cut pass” which cuts the material into the shape the computer tells it to.