The idea isn’t as sci-fi as it sounds. Laser cutters and etchers can be integrated into almost any business or even be central to one. While the initial cost can be high, the applications of a laser cutting and engraving machine can cover multiple fields of business.
Etch Glass, Acrylic, and Metal
Unlike traditional (and outdated) rotary engravers, laser engravers can etch on the most fragile of materials. Lasers mark delicate surfaces like glass and acrylic by vaporizing thin layers of the material. Etched surfaces can be no deeper than a tenth of a millimeter — often undetectable by touch. You can even mark soft surfaces like leather and denim. Personalize everything from mugs, wine glasses, mirrors, nameplates, dog tags, bottles, baseball caps, jeans, bags — whatever you can think of. You can probably use a laser engraver for it. Laser engravers also have no problem etching on curved or uneven surfaces. Laser engraving machines use bitmaps that mark the surface, enabling the device to transfer photo-like images into any surface.
Craft Unique Signage and Décor
Laser cutting and engraving machines work very well with wood. A decent machine can cut through more than an inch of thickness, allowing you to shape wood however you like. Laser cutters cut cleanly, producing less stress on the wood, and ensuring optimum material integrity. They allow you to cut wood in almost any shape possible, giving you greater freedom to design your pieces. Laser-etched wooden signage has a much more personal and traditional feel, making them perfect for restaurants and bars. The complexity of designs and images you can incorporate into your laser etchings is almost limitless — even to the point of creating photo-realistic imagery.
Find Your Niche
See what your potential clientele are interested in. Find groups who would be interested in your services through local clubs or your connections. You can offer your services to a local gun club. Gun owners love being unique, and customizing their firearms can bring you a lot of business. Find gaming groups or medieval weapons enthusiasts and offer to etch Viking patterns on their armor and weapons. You can even partner with funeral homes to create customized markers and tombstones for the dearly departed. Visit your local breweries and offer to engrave their logo into every glass and pitcher in the place. They can then sell those customized items to their customers, giving you a steady source of work.
Minimal Effort Needed
Laser cutting and engraving machines require very little skill and effort. If you can print a document on your printer, you can use a laser engraving machine. These machines use bitmaps, so transferring a design to a given surface is almost as easy as dragging the photo from one screen to another. Minimal changes are needed, even when working with curved surfaces.
Improving your business or starting one with a laser-engraving machine opens a myriad of business opportunities. Get a feel for your potential clients and find niches that would gladly pay for your services.