The answer to this question is generally yes. You can use any material you can cut with the laser to create your templates. Trotec TroLase is a particularly high-quality and cost-effective option. Learn more about Trotec laminates and laser engraving laminates.
When you are creating a template, you should also consider the thickness of the parts to be laser engraved using the template. Templates intended to be used to process thin objects such as aluminum tags, should be made of flat material so that you can quickly and easily remove the parts after they are procesed. For thicker items such as pens, make sure that the material used for the tempalte is also thicker so that the workpieces stay in place in the template.
Transferring the contours from your workpiece into your template file is a key factor in creating your template. Here are a few different ways to do it:
You can measure the shape and trace it in your graphics program if the outline of your workpiece is a simple, geometric shape.
It's a good idea to scan the workpiece if it consists of complex angles and radii. Then you can import the scanned file into your graphics program and simply trace the contours.
Trace and scan
You can transfer the contours of your workpiece on paper using a pen and then scan it. This is a good option if your workpiece is too bulky for your scanner. When you import the scanned image into your graphics program, we recommend that you trace the contours yourself instead of using flash-vectorization, because a large number of unnecessary nodes are embedded in the contour during the automatic conversion.
Tip:It is very helpful to add an additional cut-out in the shape of a semicircle. This makes it easier to remove the finished engraved parts.
In order to keep the cutting gap as small as possible, use the smallest possible lens (1.5" or 2").
- Engrave the name of the corresponding graphics file on each template. This makes it quick and easy to find the right work file, especially if you use several different templates.
- Mark the corner of the unit in the zero point on the template so that you can quickly and easily insert it.
- If your template is smaller, try lasering holes in it and filing it in a folder. This will help you keep your templates safe and easy to locate.
- Always send the entire graphic (including the outer contour of the template) when you send jobs to the laser engraver. Before engraving your workpieces, set the color "red" to "positioning" in the parameters in the material database. This makes it easy for you to check whether the template is properly positioned in the machine.
- Read our tips and tricks for positioning aids for help quickly and reliably determining your desired position for laser processing