Category Archives: Laser Engraving Machine

success with a laser in 2017

4 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Lead to Success in 2017!

success with a laser in 2017

1.  Buy An AP Lazer Machine

If ever you were going to stick to a New Year’s Resolution, this would be the one. This resolution will be more successful than last year’s on-again-off-again diet, and you’ll see the results almost immediately. If you need any help convincing yourself or your business partner, take a look at all of our blog posts. You can lease-to-own a brand new AP Lazer machine for less per month than you can buy a new car, with a much better return on investment. All of our machines come with in person, on-site assistance, US based tech support, access to AP Lazer University and one of the best warranties in the industry.  As an added bonus we’re always generating new ideas on how to make money with the AP Lazer. That’s kind of like buying a new car that includes an auto-pilot feature which can take you to where the money trees grow.

Ready to resolve? Download our free Laser Machine Purchasing Guide to learn more.

2.  Start a Business

Not as easy as the first resolution. But so worth it. Who doesn’t want to have their own business? Make your own hours, and a salary that is dependent on your own willingness to succeed. Sure it’s work, but anything good in life takes work.

good-in-life

This business you are opening can be a trophy shop or maybe it’s a wood crafting shop. Maybe it’s an auto customization shop. Regardless of your plan, AP Lazer will fit to you and your experiences and goals. Many customers have purchased an AP Lazer to be the center of their new business, and even more customers have purchased it to supplement and grow their current business. If you already have a business and want a laser but can’t quite figure out if it’s right for you, give us a call and a representative will help you on your path to success.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

 

3.  Pay For The AP Lazer Machine With The AP Lazer Machine

Yeah, you read that right! The AP Lazer will more than pay for itself. All it takes is a couple of laser jobs per month and you are on your way to paying off the machine, especially if you opt for one of our leasing programs. AP Lazer machines boast some unique features that will set you apart from other laser machines and give you the ability to make money fast. Realizing the potential and taking advantage of our patented open-architecture is extremely valuable and will provide you with many opportunities your competitors can’t provide. A few lucrative business opportunities that will allow you to pay off your laser machine in little time are: signage, memorial products and donation bricks.

One AP Lazer customer completed brick-engravinga 1000 charity brick walkway job and received $30 per engraved brick. The job took 12 days to complete, running the machine about 10 hours a day (85 bricks per day). 1000 bricks were purchased in bulk for $600.  Aside from electricity and labor costs, the company profited roughly $28k, enough to pay for his laser machine!

4.  Make Loads of Money Having Fun With Lasers

This is the best part. Anyone who has ever been a fan of Star Wars or sci-fi in general can get excited about working with a laser. (The good thing is, is that anyone who is not a Star Wars fan will sill have just as much fun working with the laser.) Sadly it doesn’t make a “pew pew” noise, but if you listen closely you may be able to hear a “cha-ching!”

15 Laser Engraved Holiday Gifts Your Customers Will Love

laser engraved holiday giftsIf you have a laser cutting machine, when the holiday season rolls around you’re as busy as an elf in Santa’s workshop making all sorts of personalized gifts for all the good boys and girls, right?

After a few hours sipping on a hot toddy, admiring the glistening lights on our Christmas tree while perfect little feathery snowflakes fell to the ground and faint Christmas music filled the air. browsing the web, we found the BEST of the best laser engraved Christmas gift ideas to share with our readers. So without further adieu, here’s 15 laser engraved gifts your customers will love!

Laser Engraved Pie Plate

laser engraved pie plate

When the celebration is over, you won’t be left wondering who left their pie dish behind if it’s laser engraved.  Whether the pie be pumpkin, apple, peach or mincemeat (yuck!) any delicious dessert baked in this dish will arrive at the party in style.

Laser Engraved Personalized Door Mat

laser engraved door mat

Both classy and functional, this personalized door mat is one of our favorites. Your visitors will know they’re in the right place and feel warmly welcomed all at the same time. Since the laser beam actually burns the fibers in the rug, it will never get worn off by your house guests.

Laser Engraved Leather Dog Collar

laser engraved dog collar

Amidst all of the hustle and bustle, you can’t forget about the 4 legged creatures that have been extra good this year! Leather is a material that is very easy to laser engrave and yields great results every time. Not only are these dog collars stylish, but they are practical, too.

3D Map Wall Art

laser cut wall art

These maps are a perfect example of the detail and complexity one can achieve with a laser cutting machine. These maps feature multi-level laser cut wood pieces assembled perfectly to create a stunning piece of wall art. Talk about a conversation piece!

Want to offer personalized gifts like the ones shown in this post? Download our free Laser Machine Purchasing Guide to learn more.

Custom Laser Engraved Cutting Board

laser engraved cutting board

This would literally make every mom in the world cry.  There is no better way save your mini Picasso’s artwork, than to laser engrave it on to say, a cutting board. A gift like this would make a good Mother’s Day gift, birthday gift, or everyday surprise for the mom who already has it all.

Laser Cut Felt Coasters

laser cut felt coasters

One of the best ways to deal with family members that you don’t particularly care for (we all have a few of them, don’t we?) is to just drink until you can tolerate them. That’s when these laser cut felt coasters could come in handy.  These coasters will not only save your table top, but are also a super festive decoration.

Laser Cut Mustache Comb

mustache beard comb laser engraved and cut

“The male beard communicates a heroic image of the independent, sturdy and resourceful pioneer. Ready, willing and able to do manly things. Whether the recipient has a  full beard, goatee or just a mustache every man wants to hold the look that they are creating.”  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Laser Etched Cell Phone Cases

Nowadays no one leaves home without their phone. By gifting someone a laser engraved cell phone case, you’ll be sure to be giving them a gift they’ll take with them everywhere. Great for kids who’ve recently moved out!  They’ll never forget to call mom and dad since they’ll have a constant reminder whenever they reach for their phone!

Laser Cut Picture Frame

Grandma and Grandpa always want pictures of the grandkids for Christmas/birthdays/mothers day.. for any occasion, really. A great photo needs a great frame! This personalized picture frame is the perfect gift that will warm their hearts without burning your wallet.

Personalized Beer Mug

Parents have to share almost everything, which is why fathers LOVE things that are just theirs. Dad’s chair, Dad’s tools, and of course Dad’s mug. A personalized beer mug lets everyone know it’s his and makes sure he always has his frosty mug for that cold beer at the end of a long day. Maybe after a few, he won’t mind sharing so much!

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

Laser Engraved Football

We all have a sporting weekend warrior in the family. Whether it’s your brother-in-law on the flag football team, The dad on the local softball team, or the sister who’s the captain of the high school soccer team, a personalized ball is something every sports nut will absolutely love.

Laser Cut Earrings

Laser cut earring are great for that special someone this holiday season. With limitless design possibilities from the super simple to the ultra complex, laser cut earrings and other jewelry are a great way to show someone you care with something as beautiful as they are. Create earrings out of wood, acrylic leather or the dozen of other materials AP Lazer can cut.

Laser Engraved Leatherman

Everyone has a handyman in the family, and just about every handyman seems to have one of these great multipurpose tools with them at all times. Now your family handyman can always be prepared to spring into action at any given moment with a personalized Leatherman they’re sure to love.

Laser Cut Snowflake Ornaments

Ornaments for the tree always make a great gift, and they’ll mean that much more when you’ve made them yourself. These great keepsakes will make an excellent addition to anyone’s tree, reminding them of you every time they look at them.

Laser Cut Wall Art

For those with a more artistic flair, a piece of laser cut wall art would be the icing on the cake. Simple, easy, and inexpensive, a piece of lasered wall art will make an excellent addition to just about anyone’s home as well as serve as a fantastic conversation piece.

A laser cutting machine will allow you to make your customers look really good. When they’re gifting the best gifts at the party, they’ll leave everyone else wishing they would have thought to get grandma a personalized gift that brought tears to her eyes. You know what that means? Next Christmas, everyone will be coming to you asking for laser engraving services…Score!

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NFDA 2016 Recap

Here we are, a little over a month after the NFDA 2016 show and we just can’t get over it. Not only was it incredibly fun, but we had such a good reaction to the granite we brought as well as, obviously, the AP Lazer machine.

Kyle shows off the AP Lazer

A Chat With a Snowman

We got a chance to talk to the snowman that was meandering the convention and it was interesting to hear an outsider’s opinion of the event. He said he had been a mascot for many years but when he received the call for this job he was left wondering what exactly a convention hall full of funeral directors was going to look like. He was happily surprised. Sure there were caskets, urns, and granite, but there were also children running around, people putting on a mini golf green, and even a wine tasting event. He said that the whole thing actually left him with a much better perception of the death care industry as a whole. It also got him thinking about pre-planning his own funeral.

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Deathcare: Alive and Well

While he was a joy to speak with, the most important thing that we gathered from our conversation is that the death care industry is still a strong, thriving, family-operated affair. Everyone we spoke to about the AP Lazer was excited by the opportunities it creates. Because no matter how great your business is doing there isn’t a business owner alive that wouldn’t be happy if their business did better. If it brought in more revenue, more profit.
Diversification was once again a huge topic of conversation, we constantly talk on our blog about all the diversification opportunities, but the NFDA convention was a great opportunity to get back to basic. We talked a lot about those simple to do, high return projects. Personalizing urns is big and so are fundraising bricks. As you may have read in our brick engraving blog post, a laser engraved brick can be sold for $13-50 each. At a cost of $3.75 per brick that is $370-$1850 of profit for one array of bricks in a SN4836 laser machine. (48”x36” engravable area, 4”x8” bricks.)
That alone was enough to convince many people of the ROI on an AP Lazer machine.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

If you need more convincing feel free to call us at 800-585-8617 or email info@aplazer.com. We look forward to speaking with you!

 

Buy a Laser Cutter in 2016, Here’s Why.

buy a laser in 2016

Post Election Laser Cutter Savings

No matter where you stand on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, one thing is for certain. You deserve a discount (and a laser cutter!) for surviving what many Americans are calling the weirdest and most fascinating cultural and political event many of us will ever witness!

laser engraver sale

Now through December 29, 2016, take $2,017 off the SN4836 Laser Cutter and Engraver.

We’re hopeful for what the future has in store not only for America but your business. Together, we can make 2017 a successful year.

Section 179 Tax Incentive

Thanks to the new guidelines under IRS Section 179 of the IRS tax code, you can now write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases on your 2016 IRS tax return, in the first year it is placed into service. Read more details about Section 179 here.

Based on this Section 179 Calculator, cash savings for our laser cutting equipment can be up to $25,346. Now that is a serious incentive!

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

Free Shipping

It’s been a long time since we offered our popular free shipping promotion, so claim it while you can! There’s really not much more to say about this one, so onto the next! (On the SN4836 only.)

See it, to Believe it

Dying to see an AP Lazer in action? Come visit us in Lansing, Michigan to spend a day with our team learning about and seeing the AP Lazer in action.

your invited!

The best part? We’ll deduct your travel expenses from your machine purchase.

We are extremely proud of our products and we hope you will be as equally thrilled when you see the versatility, power and capabilities our machines offer. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, email us. (We cover air fare and hotel stay.)

Get Ahead of the Game for 2017

2017 laser cutter

This is the most important reason to purchase a laser cutter now. It beats any sale, promotion or tax incentive available.The sooner you get a laser machine, the sooner you can start making a profit right away! While others are eating Christmas cookies and making paper snowflakes, you can be planning for the success of your business in 2017. A new year means new opportunities and a fresh slate for your business.

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laser engraver gifts

Why a Laser Engraved Gift is the Best Kind of Gift

laser engraver giftsWe all have a special someone in our lives that is hard to buy for. No matter how long you search, the perfect gift can’t found. What do you get someone that already has everything? A laser engraved personalized gift may be your answer!

1. A laser engraved gift shows that you really made an effort

Sure, things like gift cards are extremely convenient when you just don’t know what to get a friend or family member. But they are also one of the most impersonal gifts you can give. When you choose a special gift and then have it personalized with a laser engraving machine it will truly show the recipient that you wanted to give them something extra special.

2. The recipient will never forget you

When the birthday girl goes home and sorts through all of her gifts, your personalized gift will truly stand out among the rest. After all, that is what a good gift is supposed to do, right? Whenever the recipient sees your special laser engraved gift, she will ultimately think of you, especially when they’re making their favorite casserole!

laser engraved glass gift

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

3. Personalized gifts are often kept forever

Not only are personalized gifts cherished, they also tend to never go “out-of-style.” A laser engraved gift is something that can’t be re-gifted at the next white elephant Christmas exchange your crazy Aunt Betty hosts. That is unless your name also happens to be Betty.

laser engraved leather

4. A huge selection of items can be personalized

Because a laser engraver can engrave and cut dozens of materials, the list of gifts that can be personalized is virtually endless! Photo frames, keepsake boxes, cutting boards, glass ornaments, leather book covers, electronics, jewelry, and sports memorabilia can all be laser engraved to create an extra special, one-of-a-kind gift.

laser engraved wood chest

5. Perfect for any occasion

A laser engraved gift is ideal for the many occasions that happen throughout our lives. The birth of a child, a baptism, birthdays, weddings, housewarming, anniversaries, promotions and even retirements can all be honored in a special way with a personalized gift. Rest assured, you will never run out of ideas.

Using a laser engraver to provide personalized gifts is an entire market in and of itself. People spend hundreds of dollars on gifts for their friends and family each year and you can tap into the huge profit potential that come along with it!

Interested in learning more about our laser engraving and cutting machines? Email us, or give us a call!

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3d laser art

7 Awesome 3D Laser Products made with a Laser Engraving Machine

3d laser art

Instant 3D Laser Gratification

Imagine creating products with materials designed to last a long time, getting them faster than ordering on Amazon Prime, and costing much less than what you can but in a store!

We’ve searched high and low on the web and found some of the most impressive 3D laser cut products. If you need a reason to purchase a laser engraving machine instead of a 3D printer, hopefully, these will sway you in the right direction.

Laser Cut Wood Pivoting Box

We can think of plenty of things one could put in this box; sewing accessories, makeup, fishing lures, craft items,  miniature army men and maybe even a picnic lunch or even an extensive button collection. When it boils down to it, a box is the next best invention next to the wheel, right?
laser cut wood pivoting box

Laser Cut Wood Laptop Stand

Considering 78% of adults under the age of 30 own a laptop, it’s fair to say that 100% of them need a laser cut laptop stand. This laser cut wooden laptop stand made by lasercuttinglab.com is unique and functional. Avoid leg burns when you get sucked into their website that contains a plethora of laser cut and engraved eye candy.
laser cut wood laptop stand

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

 

Laser Cut Cardboard Piggybank

Put all of the money you save creating this laser cut cardboard piggy bank, into the piggy bank. We found this one available from Etsy shop, gaBotteShop. If you’ve decided to order things off of Amazon, (there are bound to be things that you just can’t create with a laser) you probably have lots of cardboard laying around just waiting to be laser cut.
laser cut cardboard piggybank

Laser Cut Cardboard Airplane Halloween Costume

Do you find yourself putting all of your creative energy to the creation of your children’s Halloween costumes come October? We’re confident that if you put your child in a 3D laser cut airplane costume, he will win every Halloween costume contest there ever was.
laser cut halloween costume

Laser Cut Wood 6 Packer

With craft breweries gaining in popularity, It’s no wonder we’re drawn to this nifty wooden laser cut 6 packer. Laser cutting proves to be one of the best methods of creating 3D products out of 2D materials; for example, the 6 Packer is completely parametric. You can change material thickness, bottle diameter, fastener size, hand grip size re-render and cut out using your favorite laser cutter. Grab 6 of your favorite brews, pop them in this handy carrier and take them wherever you need to go.
laser cut wood 6 packerWe found this on thingverse.com, and if you already own a laser cutter, you can make it yourself with the provided template.

Laser Cut Acrylic Table Numbers

Elegantly send wedding guests in the right direction. Table numbers are a must have at all weddings, particularly useful if you have a pre-reception cocktail hour!  These beauties, from Etsy shop ElegantLaserDesigns combine laser cutting acrylic and laser engraving acrylic to produce a beautiful detail for any wedding.

laser cut acrylic table number

Laser Cut Leather Bandana

Into fashion? A laser cutting machine would look great next to your sewing machine. This leather scarf, sold by & Other Stories could be easily replicated with a piece of leather and intricate design of your choice. Lasers are excellent for both cutting and engraving leather, so the fashion capabilities are pretty broad. Imagine the kind of motorcycle chaps you could create!
laser cut leather

Who needs a 3D laser printer when you can create 3D products with a 2D laser engraving machine? On top of creating 3D products, a laser machine allows you to work with a larger variety of materials like leather, paper and fabric and can produce products useful for every day use. Create 100’s of pieces in the time it takes a 3D laser printer to create a few. It provides more accuracy and is over all, a more versatile tool than a 3D printer.

What would you create with a laser?

laser engraving websites to check out

6 Laser Engraving Websites to Check Out

laser engraving websites to check out
When you’re as into laser engraving and cutting as we are, you’re always looking for incredibly unique items that can be laser engraved/cut. Because a laser engraving machine can alter just about any material, there are hundreds upon hundreds of things you can create. A couple of Google searches resulted in quite a few makers using lasers to create some very interesting pieces.

1. Jumbie Industries

Jumbie Industries hits the nail on the head for producing incredibly awesome custom laser engraved stuff. They specialize in sign making (and have a gallery to prove it) and hand-crafted manufactured pieces.  aser engraved signageThe best part? They are helping families along the way. After the son of their family friend had been diagnosed with brain cancer, they made the decision to put their professional talents to use and make a difference by donating a portion of each sale to local families that are battling cancer. The world needs more people like them.

2. 52 Lasers

52 Lasers is a perfect website to visit if you have a few minutes hours to spare. Each week, the husband and wife team selects one thing from their long list of ideas to laser engrave/cut and turns it into a finished product. laser cut Kumihimo From wood to acrylic and everything in between, this duo creates things we’ve never even thought of with their laser engraving machine. What is a Kumihimo disk, anyways? What about a living hinge? See all of this and more at their website.

3. Obrary

We can’t get enough Obrary! Short for “Open Library”, this site has over 100 free design templates and video tutorials for laser engraving some pretty cool projects like this laser cut skateboard rack.laser cut skateboard rackNot only do they provide free project templates, but they also have a few eBooks that could be helpful for the beginner laser engraver, including “Laser Cutter 101”, “Laser Cutter Advanced Techniques” and “Starting a Business with a Laser Cutter”.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

4. Cut Laser Cut

These guys are specialists when it comes to laser cutting and engraving! Located in London, this award-winning shop does it all. laser cut marque signageWe spent quite a bit of time admiring their Showcase, which includes everything from laser cut acrylic shoes, intricate laser cut paper designs, and even laser cut food. (Yummy!) Check out their blog too, where they’ve got tons more inspiration for your laser engraving dreams, such as this laser cut marquee signage.

5. Cartonus

Focused primarily on packaging, Cartonus offers a variety of free templates as well as templates you can purchase. For around $15, you can get 150 designs to laser cut your own unique packages. laser cut wine butler

Who wouldn’t want a laser cut tea bag dispenser? Or a laser cut wine butler? The best thing about templates is that you can use them over and over. And over again!

6. Instructables

Instructables is another website you could spend the better part of your afternoon exploring. A simple search for “laser engraving” results in user submitted projects ranging from laser engraved rolling pins to …a laser engraved egg? laser cut vinyl

Projects feature photos with detailed instructions you can follow along to create both useful and fun things you can create with your laser engraving machine.

This collection of laser cut item goes to show you that your imagination is the only limit with a laser engraving machine. Engrave every dream, every inspiration onto nearly any surface.

Interested in learning what you can do with an AP Lazer? Contact a sales representative or fill out the form on our website.

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laser engraver for wood

Laser Engraving Wood with AP Lazer

laser engraver for wood

Laser Engraving Wood

In spite of all the design, craftsmanship, and effort that is involved, woodworking is a tough business that generally has low margins. Consider laser engraving wood. You can dramatically increase the profit on the wooden products you design, create and offer.

laser engraving wood furniture

Woodworking in America is a business that goes back for centuries. It’s a core industry to our economy, supplying businesses and consumers with a wealth of well-designed wood products such as furniture, cabinets, flooring, tools, construction materials, picture frames – the list goes on.

During the last 100 years, wood product production techniques have remained roughly the same regarding the process – cutting, joining, and finishing. It’s time to look at the woodworking industry differently and find ways to innovate and make your business more profitable.

laser engraver for wood

Personalizaton: A Growing Industry

Participate in the rapidly growing personalization trend in the U.S. and increase value when you add highly detailed, laser engraved graphics and text. Consumers love to see their name, personal image, or business logo on the products they buy. Additionally, laser engraving on wood is a great way for a business to brand products with their logo or company name and information.

laser engraved woodWood product producers have yet to capitalize on the personalization trend because machines aren’t yet adopted as a production tool in the woodworking industry. Laser engraving wood can occur on a finished product as the final step before delivery, or insert it into the workflow just before staining and clear coating.

Laser engraving wood is a profitable process you can incorporate into your business. It can double or triple the value of a product. From wood plaques, cabinets, panels and doors to granite, auto parts and iPhone cases, the emotional response to seeing a personalized product is tremendous. Consumers are willing to pay a significantly higher price for personalized laser engraved items.

Photo courtesy of MD Custom Engravings
Photo courtesy of MD Custom Engravings

Diversification with a Laser Machine

Not only can you add value to your existing wood product offerings, but you can diversify into new markets with little to no overhead costs. Tap into signage, pet products, awards/trophies and many more markets with a laser engraving machine. Your imagination is the limit!

laser engraver for classroom

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

 

Profit Impact

What is the profit impact of doubling or tripling the value of your product with laser engravings? The laser machine has a very low operating cost.Your time to develop a personal image or text, running the machine, and electricity costs. There are no consumable materials when laser engraving wood. Almost all of the increase in value comes to you in the form of profit!

Don’t miss the opportunity to innovate and diversify your woodworking business. Implement a laser engraving machine and capitalize on the personalization trend.

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10 Mind-blowing Artists and Makers Using Lasers On Wood

AP16_BLOG_wood1_banner

From paper and textiles, to stone and metal, AP Lazer machines can be used on nearly any material, but one of our favorites to work with is wood. It’s a renewable, biodegradable, timeless, and universal material that’s downright gorgeous in its own right. When spruced up with etched illustrations or custom cut into a unique pattern, wood becomes even more instinctively beautiful and endlessly versatile. Searching for inspiration, we found the following artists and makers who are doing some pretty incredible things with their laser machines and our favorite material.

1. Gabriel Schama

Cutting and gluing layer upon layer upon layer of designs from wood, Gabriel Schama (with the help of his laser cutter, Elsie) creates mesmerizing three-dimensional artworks. Ranging from entirely abstract, organic shapes to his more recent portraiture work, Schama utilizes the laser cutter not just to make his process faster or easier, but to open up his full range of ability. Although he creates his art with the help of a machine, Schama’s technique is inherently handcrafted.

2. Lightwave Laser

Western-Casework---Chin-Chin-Rest WEB 679

Utilizing laser precision, Ron Macken of Lightwave Laser is able to create custom designs and exclusive company patterns from wood that an ordinary contractor simply couldn’t execute. Coming from a background on the engineering side of laser technology, Macken’s artistic pursuits have seen various applications in commercial businesses, as well as private homes. Hotels, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and even a mosque, sport Lightwave Laser panels as wall dividers, external and internal wall decorations, doors, and lighting fixtures.

3. Rogue Journals

On a significantly smaller scale, Rogue Journals creates laser cut wooden bookmarks that are just as detailed as Schama’s and Lightwave’s large-scale pieces. These delicate creations use wood’s ability to be both smoothly cut and engraved to portray full scenes within a mere 5″ x 1.25″ area. Again, these complex works simply could not exist without the innovation of laser technology.

4. Big Secret

Big Secret is one secret that every laser fan should know. The laser and design company provides assistance at any stage of the making process – in their own words – “from design and development to fabrication and finishing.” Their website and Instagram are full of mind-blowing, award-winning collaborations, as well as some of their own in-house creations. The above baseball bat, designed by Kevin Cantrell and Juan Carlos Pagan, is just one of their beautiful collaborative works.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

5. Stay Gold Co

Organic Super Flower Plugs

Stay Gold Co makes tattoo art inspired t-shirts, stickers, phone cases, and plug style earrings. Their products are only available for limited time periods, but they currently have 13 beautiful, laser-etched, wooden earring designs for sale. These Super Flower Plugs are by far the most intricate. This pair of earrings – available as small as 12 mm in diameter – highlights a laser machine’s ability to create incredibly detailed texture, with some seriously impressive, minuscule carved portions.

6. Anila Quayyum Agha

This one might look familiar to our fellow Michiganders. Mixed media artist Anila Quayyum Agha swept away the competition with this 2014 Art Prize winner, Intersections. If you experienced this work in person, then you know the feeling of amazement over how such a simple construction, perfectly executed, entirely transformed the space. In fact, the work was so stunning, it inspired a somewhat impromptu marriage proposal. Agha’s still creating sophisticated patterns with laser machines, now opting for steel or paper, but this original piece was made from wood.

7. Carved Lake Art

With another series that’s probably familiar if you’re from Michigan, Carved Lake Art creates striking 3D nautical maps. Their collections span the Great Lakes, a variety of states’ inland lakes, Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and some international waters. The works are made by stacking up to 8 layers of laser cut Baltic Birch – which seems to be the ideal choice of plywood for laser machines. The layers are also engraved with topographical details, again demonstrating wood’s particular ability to be both cut and engraved in beautiful detail.

8. SpaceWolf Limited

Illustrating his love for sci-fi and pop culture, and known only by the mysterious moniker, SpaceWolf is an illustrator, printmaker, and woodworker who creates extremely limited edition wooden posters. With his absolute mastery of the laser machine, he pulls off the most impeccably smooth shading we’ve ever seen. Often based off movies, TV shows, or books, by using cherry wood as his material of choice, SpaceWolf’s work redefines the idea of what a poster is. If you’re concerned about whether or not these posters are actually more or less environmentally conscious than paper, rest assured in knowing that SpaceWolf personally plants a tree for every single poster sold.

9. Dragon Powered

Hinge laser cut from 5mm birch ply

Mike Wilson of Dragon Powered is another engineer-turned-laser-artist. He has a small selection of jewelry boxes, lamps, and keychains – all made of birch – that are available for direct purchase through his site. But the really exciting stuff is in the blog section. That’s where we found posts like how to make the wooden hinges pictured above and using a custom jig to cut at an angle other than 90 degrees. His video tutorials aren’t particularly detailed and he doesn’t provide any templates, but there’s enough guidance to get a resourceful woodworker started.

10. Beam Designs

Planetary Gears Clock 1

Husband and wife duo Nathan and Sarah Jones combined their respective aerospace engineering and textile art and design backgrounds to create Beam Designs. Their website and Etsy shop offer a variety of laser cut bamboo goods, such as earrings, key chains, and wall clocks, like this wooden gear design. They intentionally chose Moso Bamboo, which is native to Britain and sourced from their local sawmill, for all of their products because of how well it compliments their environmentally conscious ethics.

 

 

Bonus: Obrary

Alex Chair - the living hinge chair

Obrary (short for open library) is a maker’s new best friend. If you operate a commercial laser service, you might like their Shopping Configurator software, which helps customers see dynamic mock ups of their personalized product so they can be assured their order will be accurate. If you just like to make things, you’ll enjoy their selection of 100+ free design templates and video tutorials gathered from across the Internet. These tutorials focus on laser cutting wood to make items like a working microscope, lamp, or padlock, to name a few. Our favorites of the designs they’ve collected utilize living hinges – laser cut Baltic Birch (yes, it has to be Baltic Birch) that allows the wood to become extremely flexible. The Alex chair above, designed by Alex Zhang, uses a living hinge to create a seat and back from a single piece of wood.

laser machines for education

AP Lazer: The Ultimate STEAM Machine

laser machines for educationWhat do laser machines have to do with STEAM?

An essential part of how innovation arises from STEAM-based projects is the process of “making”. Making is simply hands-on creation – building a scale model or prototype, for instance – and much of it happens in “makerspaces” or “Fab Labs” (short for fabrication). Makerspaces are today’s new technology workshops guided by STEAM principles. In nearly every makerspace, you’re bound to find at least a 3D printer and vinyl cutter, maybe some Arduino or Little Bits kits, and – if you’re lucky – the ultimate STEAM tool: a laser machine.

AP16_BLOG_STEAM_laserDetail

With the ability to cut or engrave nearly any material, laser machines are truly the greatest STEAM tool on the market. But don’t take just our word for it. In an article for MakeZine.com, California high school math teacher and “Maker Educator” Casey Shea wrote, “If money were no object, the laser cutter would be my No. 1 tool, as it is perhaps the most versatile tool that I have ever used.”

In an article from 2009, by Mike Dean for SouthEast Education Network, laser machines got rave reviews from both administrators and students. Now you know it has to be good if both teenagers and their authority figures can agree on it.

Dark Steel Robotics, a student robotics team at the Academy of Engineering and Design Technology, found their laser machine to be crucial for their work – using it to create prototypes, cut out “numerous complex components”, and add logos to their robots.

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Club president Bryan Uber told Dean, “We use the system for a variety of applications — the machine is necessary for so many of the projects we do.” Regarding placing first in the Boston University Design Challenge, Uber said, “The laser engraver was an invaluable tool during this project.” 

students with laser machineAdministrators from the John D. Rockefeller IV Career Center in Hancock County, West Virginia also had glowing remarks about their laser machine. Instructor of building construction Steve Shannon told Dean the following.

The students are all very eager to learn to use the laser. Not only are they intrigued by how it works, but they also realize the many opportunities that a laser machine opens for them out in the world. Some of them see it and immediately think of how to start a small business using it, while some see it as a useful tool for existing enterprises.”

George Danford, director of the Career Center, told Dean:

“The number of things we could find to use this machine for are countless!

There isn’t a program offered today which hasn’t been changed with the incorporation of technology. This is why we selected a laser engraving system, and it has definitely improved our curriculum.”

Alright, I’m convinced. How can I get a laser machine?

Whether you’re looking to add a laser machine to your school or want to start a community makerspace, the first step of purchasing a laser machine is choosing the right one. We offer five models at AP Lazer, which you can easily compare using this handy matrix.

While the upfront costs of purchasing a laser machine can be difficult to navigate on a school budget, know that with this technology, you get what you pay for, and AP Lazer offers the best technology on the market.

Take for instance young entrepreneur Nurul Syazninabila Mohd Ghazali (aka Nabila). According to Cuts Studio: Laser cutting made cool by Lydia Koh, when Nabila first started her laser cutting and woodworking business, she went with a cheaper machine. It ended up breaking. In six months. Don’t make the same mistake as Nabila and invest in an AP Lazer machine from the start.

With STEAM momentum only continuing to build, some teachers are finding success in grant writing to fund their Fab Labs. And if that doesn’t work, take a page from Shea’s book and show your school how much money they could save by having a laser machine. From no longer needing to outsource campus signage, to easily customizing whiteboards for specific lessons, your school will only find more and more ways for your AP Lazer machine to save money.

Why choose an AP Lazer machine?

As a result of revolutionary engineering by founder Tong Li, AP Lazer machines offer exceptional performance, stability, and efficiency that you won’t find elsewhere. Our technology lasts longer and cuts two times faster than competitors. Our unprecedented open architecture design allows you to engrave items of any size. Look here to see what other features make the AP Lazer difference.

Not only are our machines outstanding, but we also offer the best in customer service. Between set-up assistance, video tutorials, AP Lazer University, and 24/7 phone tech support, we’ll answer all questions and solve any problems.


education discount for laser machineLaser engraving business starter package

Oh, and did we mention, educators get a 10% discount with AP Lazer?

So what are you waiting for?! Contact us today to find out how you can get your hands on an AP Lazer machine.

Additional Links and Resources:
STEM to STEAM
STEAM Education
Engaging Students in the STEM Classroom Through “Making”
Pivot Point: At the Crossroads of STEM, STEAM and Arts Integration
STEAM Funding Endorsed BY NEA
STEAM Ahead: Merging Arts and Science Education
Gaining STEAM: Teaching Science Through Art

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