Customized design and promotional materials are stock content in marketing. What keeps these items in demand is the constant improvement in the materials. With advances in technology and fast-moving trends in graphics, marketers and designers push the envelope with innovative offerings for every occasion.
Some of the newest marketing materials make use of laser and engraving machines, as well as 3D printing technology. These kinds of machines have only lately become mainstream design and graphics tools, and they are yet to reach their full potential.
More and Faster
The advantages of laser and automated engraving tools are the quality and repeatability of the final output. In addition, these tools can etch or engrave in almost any kind of material. This includes glass, plastic, wood and even stone.
Granite and marble etched lettering and signage are not the only things that are being produced. Wood and leather engraving are also possible, creating precision etching for all kinds of uses. Although more commonly used to etch fine lines and lettering, it is also possible to create broad and deep etchings on wood.
Traditionally, these would be done by artisans using chisels and mallets. Nowadays, engraving tools can gouge out the wood with great precision. Used on an industrial scale, the price of wood engraved promotional materials is matched by the speed of the process.
Another advantage of these engraving machines is safety. Compared to an artisan with a chisel and mallet, an engraving machine operator is not at risk for injuries. The operator would be behind clear transparent plexiglass, which offers protection against any chips or debris from the process.
The engraving machines are controlled with the use of software, which reads the design. The whole process is much like printing on paper, with a wide format plotter. The engraving head or the laser moves around the surface of the wood, granite or stone, slowly peeling away small layers.
For 3D printing, the whole process works in reverse. The 3D nozzle moves around and adds the plastic material one layer at a time until a 3D object is created. The whole process can be repeated over and over again.
Ease of Use
The design is the limit. It takes a new level of creativity to think in terms of three dimensions for these new tools. Even though the material is granite, marble or stainless steel, it is possible to create more complex designs with the use of layers. With more experience, it is possible to find out which designs would work, be more attractive and garner a high demand.
These machines are easy to use and only need a great design to see their full potential. Most marketing personnel who have started to use these technologies are hooked into thinking of more complex designs.
The technology for 3D printing, as well as engraving and etching on a diverse range of materials, is readily available for everyone. The creativity for new designs is what is needed to push these tools and create innovative products that consumers would want to have.