Tag Archives: design

How Engraving Works

laser engraving machine

Laser Engraving Machine in action

Everybody enjoys engraved products. Most of the printing we see on promotional products is done through laser beams. This is what is commonly referred to as laser engraving. Lasers aren’t applied in the printing industry only. Almost every aspect of our daily lives utilises lasers in one way or another. From the manufacturing sector to the retail and even the medical industries, lasers are all over planet earth.

Generation and Utilisation of Energy

Laser is a short form which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The laser equipment used in the process is usually hooked to a source of energy such as electricity.

The energy passes through the specific material causing its atoms to undergo rapid movement discharging extra energy. The additional energy released as a result of rapid atom movement is mirrored inside the laser equipment to produce a concentrated beam of light which is usually referred to as a laser beam.

Finally, the energy is converted into heat and used to decorate an item. Essentially, the process involves the careful burning of the surface of the item to produce the desired results. Computers are used to calibrate the temperature of the laser beam ensuring that only the area covered is engraved.

Engraving on Special Materials

Engravers don’t use the same chemical to produce a laser beam. We have CO2 lasers and Nd: YAG lasers. The CO2 engravers are the most common and they contain chambers which are filled with carbon dioxide gas. They utilise minimum energy, and they are suitable for printing materials such as fabric, glass, wood, and lightweight plastics.

On the other hand, the Nd: YAG engravers usually contain solid materials referred to as neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet. These are high-energy engraver machines that are used on heavy materials such as high-grade plastics and metals. However, they are not supposed to be used on PVC or any other types of plastics that contain chlorine since the results can be disastrous.

Royal Mint’s Bad Penny Blues

Royal Mint production errors mar launch of Britain’s most secure coin

Royal Mint post Pound coin image by Linda Bestwick (via Shutterstock).

Britain’s most secure coin and, as we have learned this week – a Pound coin that has had major design flaws.  Image by Linda Bestwick (via Shutterstock).

In two days time, we shall be seeing the end of the old five pound note in favour of the waxy vegan-unfriendly ones. Apart from the slight controversy, the launch of our new fivers has been pretty smooth. Compare and contrast this with the implementation of the new pound coins by the Royal Mint. Lovely to look and similar to the pre-decimalisation threepenny bit, it is good to handle. Unless you have a warped coin, or one that has seen the inner part fall out.

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Royal Mint London

A Look at the New Pound Coin

How the intricate engraving of the new pound coin will deter forgers

The last six months have been an interesting one for collectors of banknotes and coinage. In the last two months, we have been getting to grips with the new plastic fivers. Next year will see the arrival of a new, smaller £10 note. About to make its way in March 2017 will be the new pound coin. Since the arrival of the original ones in 1983, they have been the most forged coins in Britain. Telltale signs of which include the weight of the coin, materials, and its text around the sides.

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