You’ve bought your AP Lazer machine, and it’s on its way! You’re probably thinking: “Well, what now?” Undoubtedly, you’re excited to use it but not sure about how far you can go with it.
AP Lazer machines are unique in part because they don’t rely on a “boxed-in” design. How can you follow suit?
We’re going to outline a few of the many ways to think outside the box on how to use your new AP Lazer machine to grow your business. We’ve got great tips to help you narrow down the industry you’d like to focus on and how to break into it.
Time to take on the world, so keep reading to find out how!
Getting Started With Your New AP Lazer Machine
Joining the AP Lazer University (APLU) to watch training videos before your laser arrives is a good start.
Until you get into the groove of the workflow, going through APLU videos for the first few times you use it will help you. It’s a good way to make sure you’re set up for success from the start.
Also, be sure to schedule a virtual training session with our AP Lazer tech support team. It usually takes about eight hours of training for our machines, except for the SN1812, which is only four hours. Because of COVID-19, all training sessions are virtual for the time being.
What else can you do to kickstart your training?
Join Our Community!
AP Lazer is dedicated to creating a priceless relationship with not just you but all of our valued customers. We work together with our community of laser users and enthusiasts to build a family atmosphere.
To that end, we encourage you to join the AP Lazer User Group on Facebook. It’s a wonderful community of makers that thrives when it works together! We want to help you meet the emotional needs of your customer base with the products you’ll create using your AP Lazer.
- We’ve committed ourselves to our joint mission with our community members to create a more precious world together
- We serve as your partner in continued honesty and integrity
- Our relationship with you and all of our members is what we value most
- We support you in reaching your goals with unsurpassed cooperation and creativity
We’re nothing without our community, and you’re part of our core values!
On that note, check out what Stephen Derfelt, the owner of Derfelt Funeral Home, says in his video, “Unboxing My New AP Lazer.” It’s a great video, and we’re thankful for our community’s contributions — thanks, Stephen!
In a Bind?
If you’re stuck on how to accomplish the results you want in a project, the chances are that someone else has been there before. We can all offer each other tips and tricks to accomplishing our goals.
As always, if you ever have an urgent question, make sure to keep the tech support number (844-364-8211) handy.
Our tech line is always available — 24/7/365— happy to offer a lifetime of support to help you along!
What Kind of Projects Should I Start With?
It’s best to try general projects at first with various materials, sizes, shapes, and objects. As you continue to do different projects, you’ll start to find your preference for industries and materials you like to work with, like these six beginner projects.
Experience handling different market segments, materials, and uses is really the only way to know you’re going to prefer one thing over another. Performing some projects will require different settings or accessories to complete the job.
Generally, you’ll start with flat products from common materials. These kinds of products are not too difficult to cut, engrave, or mark.
Once you get the hang of things, you can go to larger format products and more exotic materials like engraving glass or marking anodized aluminum. This is what we mean by “unboxing” your AP Lazer machine— thinking outside the box and trying new things.
There’s nothing like AP Lazer machines that you’ve seen in the CO2 laser market before!
Industries to Think About Getting Into
Many have had great success breaking into industries such as:
- Memorial care
- Sign making
- Wedding materials
- Metal marking
- And more
Because AP Lazer machines are so versatile, you can evolve their use with your local community and current trends.
Some places to get your name out are fairs, conventions, and community events. Demonstrations on custom products made on-the-spot or on an impressive medium can make a big impression on individuals and the local industries!
Brand Awareness In Your Local Community
While you’re learning your tradecraft, you might as well be making samples and gifts with organizations and groups in your area in mind. Make products they might use in your local police station or school for commendations, appreciation, and more.
A challenge token, for example, is a great way to impress local law enforcement and add value to events and organizations dealing with veterans. Another great idea is making your mark with organizationally branded tumblers.
It gives you valuable experience in custom cutting and engraving work while getting word-of-mouth advertising off the ground!
If you aren’t feeling confident enough to tackle that project, you can certainly do award marking and engraving for local organizations and schools. Custom business cards from fun material is another great idea to try out!
While you’re doing that, you can promote yourself on Facebook, your own website, and more.
Once you’ve moved on to tackle the rotary cradle accessory, projects involving small-format ceramics and metals like mugs and tumblers open up. Further along your journey, you go to truly unboxed limits.
Even a basketball is too large in height and too odd a shape to add etching or marking in most other laser machines. Because the AP Lazer is unique, you can put large format items like caskets, gravestones, chests, and more under the hood.
For you, simply remove the standard worktable and add your product underneath.
This is a good time to try out different specialty projects before specializing in an area of laser marking, cutting, and engraving like memorial care, education, weddings, and so on.
Customizing a guitar is a good example of an oddly-shaped piece that would be difficult for any other laser machine.
Getting Popular Test Materials and More
Your mind is probably now buzzing with possibilities no one has thought of yet, and you want to get started! But where do you get the materials?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on a variety of laser-safe popular objects to test on! Check out AP Lazer’s web store from home and office to urns and pet memorials.
If you’re not sure what to put on some test materials, you can also check out some ready-made templates in the store. Landscapes, animals, symbols, patterns, and more are available in high-def downloadable files at a modest price.
As you get more skilled, not just in using your AP Lazer but in knowing your market, you can learn to create your templates or symbols. Or hire a professional graphic designer for a custom experience you can pass on to your client!
Other Material Ideas for Building Value
Wooden objects are a popular choice for more than our beginner makers. It’s a versatile material with a great natural look that’s perfect for luxury, natural, or home feel.
Leather is another great medium for commemoration. You can mark and etch sports gear, saddles, picture frames, tools, and more.
Metal marking on bare metals using a marking compound is getting a lot of attention in the past few years, too. You can mark medical instruments to car hoods and everything in between. It fulfills a great need for marking parts for identification or making a statement without affecting the part’s integrity.
Imagine what you can do for a personalization service in the construction sector! No more ugly scratches or sharpies on tools for professional tradespeople — they have a tool that everyone knows is theirs! A great gift for any journeyman from his family.
Since you can even etch and mark bricks, why not involve yourself in a local charity? People can donate and get their names etched on pavers to be used in a local community project like a new park or fixing a memorial up.
Get with your local leaders and start being a central, go-to figure in your community while also doing good.
We all, as the AP Lazer community, can lead the way for our customers together. We’ve only scratched the surface today — the possibilities are truly endless!
Ask More Questions!
Again, we have to highlight our AP Lazer University, APLU, and our Facebook group.
We have more than 1400 members, with many keeping a vigilant eye on helping and advising each other. If you have bought a machine and want to upgrade to a larger size, many members can give testimony to their experience and impact on their business.
Why reinvent the wheel when there have been so many of us that have come before? The best way to improve our laser machine experience is to build on it together.
Our dedicated group, along with our on-hand 24-hour support, are all available and happy to answer any and all questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you!
Your AP Lazer: Set Free From the Box
Master the learning curve, and you and your AP Lazer can be set free from the box, living in a world with boundless possibilities! The AP Lazer isn’t boxed-up, and neither are we. We’re ready to start experimenting with engraving, cutting, and marking — are you?
We figured you might be!
If you don’t have your own AP Lazer laser machine yet, contact us and see what’s best for your needs. We’re with you all the way!
Contact us at 800-585-8617 or get in touch with our staff today!