I have had my Trotec Speedy 100 for almost two years and I absolutely love it. I have been amazed at the things I have been able to engrave and cut.
As a teacher, I use the laser as a way to teach a different side of manufacturing. Students have created some pretty awesome items. With my help, I worked with a group of students to create a mock-up in cardboard of a desktop organizer. Another set of students created faceplates cut out of ¼” maple for a sound amplifier for an electronic device. A student created a rubber stamp for the State Fair.
The school’s robotics teams use the laser to create armor and various parts out of plastic. They have also made numerous pieces of swap that are handed out at various events including the FIRST World Championships.
Another idea that came to me and a group of my students was a better way to make business cards. Students were preparing for a robotics contest and needed double sided business cards, time and money was not on their side. They had access to a color laser printer and a rundown paper cutter. A student happened to bring me a set of business cards that had been printed and cut, I was unhappy about that the cards were not uniform. I knew from cutting cardboard, I thought cardstock should be no problem. We set up a test and concluded that cardstock would cut nicely and we decided to give it a go. After several test runs and testing out the template we made, we figured out that it would take just a few seconds to cut out each business card and with that, we cut out several hundred.
Our Trotec laser is a life saver to our business! We make hard candy lollipops for the promotional products industry. Our main niche is our capability for printing up to three lines of text on the lollipop stick. We also direct pad-and-print customers artwork and logos using edible white paste directly onto the candy head itself. In order for us to create our unique candy, we must first burn one of the worst materials necessary which is thick red 7mm, A4 box style rubber sheets.
Our original laser took nearly three hours per run to cut down to the correct thickness needed. Our new Trotec laser can cut a full run in less than one hour and cuts a neater and cleaner line. We really enjoy how easy it is to work within Corel Draw and Job Control to set up our Trotec laser jobs. During our busy promotional months, our laser has to burn and burn to keep up with our candy production. It is a solid money saver and great investment for our line of work. I would be a "sucker" to not use a "sweet" Trotec laser!
Becoming a laser etching professional was an unexpected turn in my life journey. I was a project manager most of my adult life, and I never had any idea that I would be doing this. After experiencing an accident that left me unable to continue in my chosen profession, I was faced to make some significant changes. One of my hobbies of several decades was drawing in pen and ink. Black and white images were perfect for laser etching. I began the research, and brushed up on my computer skills (including learning Corel Draw). Soon I started my search for a machine.
Trotec offered everything I needed, and I jumped in purchasing my first laser, a Rayjet. I focused on my design and drawing skills, eventually increasing my capacity to buy another machine that was larger and faster. Today I have a eclectic office in Downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. I'm proud to say that I finished last fall a large piece that honored our fallen soldiers from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. An acrylic American flag measuring 20 feet long and rising 12 feet from the ground. Every panel carrying an outline of dog tags representing the 6,851 U.S. military that have given their lives. The memorial piece currently rests at the American Legion Post “Boat and Canoe Club” in the North East part of Grand Rapids, Mich. The piece is illuminated from dusk to dawn and the stars that make up the flag reflect their shadow onto the backdrop.
In a recent email blast, we asked Trotec customers to tell us how they use their laser, and how it has changed their work. We were thrilled to receive several responses that gave us interesting insight on what makes our customers creative, savvy and successful. Below is a summary.
I have the original Trotec 25watt Laser engraver, I believe it's #15. I bought it new.... I still use it now. The only thing that I had to replace on it was the lens, which I cracked when I got too close to the work. I'm a Army veteran and I use my machine to do name tags for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Combat Infantrymens Association and the VietNam Vets of America. I also make acrylic and wood awards for those organizations. I'm also one of the original members of the Awards & Recognition Association.