When looking for a new engraving machine, there is often a large range of different engraving machines to choose from. From small scale production engraving machines to larger scale industrial cnc engraving machines, the options can be endless. This article will give you some solid tips on everything about the engraving machine and how to go about working with or shopping for engraving machines.
What is an engraving machine?
An engraver machine is used to carve, etch, or cut out an engraving. The best engraving machines can be used to cut through a variety of different materials:
-wood (MDF to plywood, to regular types of wood)
-metals (all kinds, such as aluminum and stainless steel)
-Thin decal stickers (done with a laser cutting machine)
Aside from all the different materials a cnc engraver or computer numerically controlled engraving machine can work with, a machine of this description can also etch on complex shapes. Through the use of 3 axis and 5 axis cnc engraving machines, the head of the machine can rotate and move to etch or cut over complex shapes, all guided by a cad cam program.
Who can I go to use the best engraving machines?
There are many different places that you can go to, to buy a new or used engraving machine. But with most people, buying one is not an option for their particular project. This is where you will be more likely to go to someone that already has a cnc engraving machine. This can be an individual technician or a cnc or rapid prototyping company. There are many of these locally as well as abroad.
For simple engraving, it is often best to check out what you can get locally. You want to find someone who not only has the best engraving machine, but someone who will provide excellent service as well. But before you choose a company to work with, here are the golden rules:
-Always ask for the exact lead times and production times
-Check to see if they use a 3 axis or 5 axis machine and ask how they plan to achieve your goals
-Agree on a set deliverable date
-Agree on a set cost, factoring in taxes and project time
-Look for a reputable company with strong experience and a solid portfolio
-The best engraving machine is the one that will best suit your own project specs, so be sure to negotiate what the cnc technician can do for your project needs
-Lastly, communicate, communicate, communicate!
Always communicate exactly what you want. Do this by regularly reviewing the cad file, if you are not the one designing the engraving. Make working drawings, or even print out the design in both 3D and 2D with the right scaling, and annotation to ensure you get EXACTLY what you want.
How can I buy a new or used engraving machine?
Sometimes it is hard to find the best engraving machine for your purposes and your specific budget. It all depends on your project and application goals. The main thing here is to make sure you do a ton of research before you buy. Talk to existing operators and manufacturers to make sure you get a clear picture of what is on offer and what best suits your needs.
Here are the top 3 tips to buying any new or used cnc engraving machine:
1. Check the service schedule, technical support and warranty -This mostly applies to all new purchases, but a computerized engraving machine or cnc engraving mill can be extremely expensive, so when one breaks down on an important client’s job, you have to be able to make sure it can be back up and running on time. A good warranty and technical support should be a top priority to look for.
2. Do your research across different companies and brands. Most companies have support numbers that you can call to ask questions. You should also be able to find someone to talk to about buying any specific product. Remember that if you can’t communicate well with a company during the buying process, then it would be hard to get to them for any support later on down the track.
3. Buy a machine for your SPECIFIC APPLICATION. Do not attempt to buy a machine to do it all. If you are looking to do sign making, then look for a good sign making laser cutting machine or laser engraving machine for special laser cutting. A laser engraving machine is highly accurate for things like decals and sign-writing. Or if you are in the jewelry business, make sure you get a solid jewelry engraver.
You may also be able to buy a less powerful wood engraving machine for engraving softer products like wood or styrofoam by using a plywood cutting machine.
Specialized plastic engraving machines are also available to go through plastic, without destroying your plastic product. Be as specific as possible, and make sure you set a realistic budget to accommodate.
What are the best engraving machines to buy?
There are many different engraving machines out there that may work out for your particular project needs. Remember it is hard to decide what machine would be best suited for your needs, as every project is different. I would recommend instead, to look at some of the big name brands that sell a mass amount of machines and drill down from there.
You want the best machine money can buy, so it is best to gstart your research with the best brands in the industry, then pick and choose from there. Remember to consider other aspects like training costs, extra tooling replacement costs as well as any future software updates that will need to be done for a cnc engraving machine.
The best engraver machine brands?
Check out only the most reputable brands to find the best engraving machine. These include Roland engraving machines, U-Marq, and Gravograph engraver machines. There is a lot of variety depending on your niche and application. You might be looking for a laser cutting machine or a cnc engraving machine, so it pays to look at the specifics of these machines as opposed to just the brand name. Remember however, that the most important thing is research and communication. Sometimes it takes a lot of patience to find the best engraver machine.
Communicate what you want to achieve and work from there. With a bit of looking around, you should be able to find the right engraver machine for your specific engraving needs.