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Thread: Sales Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Corvallis, Oregon
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    Sales Question

    Hello out there. I use my machine infrequently to do paid work. Usually an acquaintance or friend who wants a small sign or the like. I use my machine mostly for producing my own products which require cut cork in the assembly.

    One of my acquaintances recently asked me to engrave an 8 foot long by 30 inch wide wood board with the name of his business. The lettering is meant to fill in most of the 8'x30" space. My chinese machine and software told me this job would take over 39 hours running at 300 speed. I don't entirely trust the software but it does seem like a big engraving job. Even if I halved the time and charged $50/hr run time he would end up with a $2000 bill for just the engraving. I can't imagine he is looking to spend that kind of money but I need to give him a quote.

    Anyone have experience working on larger engraving projects like this? Could it be that the software I am using is rediculously off or is this the kind of job that isn't really appropriate for an engraver (my machine is large enough with the passthrough to do it) ? Any advice from a more seasoned sign maker?
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  2. #2
    Sometimes a laser isn’t the right machine for the job. Maybe the laser could do the outline of the design and the lettering then paint filled?
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  3. #3
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    Find someone with a large bed cnc and I'm betting it could be done in a fraction of the time, and a fraction of the money too. It still won't be cheap, but nowhere near $2k
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

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  4. #4
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    Depending on the font and how it would be about 1 hour on my CNC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Daniel, this is just a suggestion.

    Use a light vector line to engrave the outline of each letter. Then laser cut the letters from another material and glue them onto the surface. You can do his really quick and your letters will have depth, something engraving normally doesn't have. You also use standoffs to raise the letters above the background for a more pleasing look.

    IMO you software's estimate of 39 hours is probably accurate. An area of 2.5 feet by 8 feet is alot of engraving time even with a very fast machine.

  6. #6
    12" per second x 30"= 3 seconds per line (including the turnaround) = 300 lines per inch does wood okay, 96x300=28,800 lines, x3 seconds= 86,400 seconds, /60 = 1,440 minutes, /60 = 24 hours... 500 lines would probably equate to 39 hours... This is completely sweeping the entire area, which you won't be doing...

    If you engrave certain letters in pieces, as in half an O will only sweep what needs to be engraved, whereas a whole O must sweep the entire un-engraved middle. Optimizing the engraving this way would probably put you at around 4 to 5 hours @ 300 lines, one pass...
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 04-17-2018 at 4:26 PM.
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  7. #7
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    On the Ruida software it would be called independent output. It will engrave each letter of a work individually, then go to another word. You are still looking at a long time, but it should be way less than 39 hours..... unless you are doing graphic that covers the entire area. But I found that large sign isn't a laser item.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. All of it was more than helpful. Kev, I understand what you are saying about optimizing the path and that hadn't occurred to me before. I don't know if my chinese software can do that but I will look into it some. IF not (and that is what I suspect) then it seems the consensus would be that the job needs to be done differently than described originally and I have gotten several good/creative alternatives and confirmation that I wasn't insane. Thanks again everyone.
    100 Watt Laserworld TH 9060 pass through CO2 laser (220 volt)
    Laser cut 5.3
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    DSP controller
    20" powermatic planer
    18" Jet Bandsaw

  9. #9
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    Sometimes you just have to pass on a job.. it happens.
    Tim
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