We wanted to "walk" you through our shop/office and give a “tour” of our tools that we use every day. We use each of these to make all of the fun and personalized items every day.
Our first purchase was our laser engraver in 2010, we ended up purchasing a Trotec Rayjet 50. This machine has been a work horse, to say the least. This machine has a 12” x 18” bed, so it confined us to making things that were that size or less. We used this machine for everything up until a few years ago when we added our other machine. It is a basic machine that doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, but it surely has done its job.
While we like to try out new processes, we never know which ones will stick. One purchase we made was a definite failure. It was a process that would allow us to put photos onto crystal, but the inconsistency in results was not worth the time and hassle of the machine. We ended up ditching that process quickly.
Our next production items we purchased was our heat press, mug press, and sublimation printer. These helped up be able to put personalized photos and images onto items for people. This process is one of our favorites when making items for people because it allows us to use exact photos that are sent to us. While we can do that with the laser, you obviously don't get the color with engraving.
With all the engraving we were doing and metal engraving requests we were receiving, we decided to get an engraver that had a larger bed that would do both Fiber engraving (metal) and CO2 engraving. This machine is also a Trotec, but is called a Speedy 360 Flexx. The bed size on this laser is 32” x 20”, which allows us to engrave and cut much bigger pieces of material. When we added this machine to our shop it was like going from a Pinto to a Cadillac! So many bells and whistles on this machine. This is also the laser that we run all of our tumblers and drink-ware. In the bottom of the photo here you can see a portion of the rotary attachment that we use for all cylindrical items that need to be engraved.
The next thing we decided to add to our shop was our CNC Router, this machine we are excited to learn. We had training setup after we bought it, but the guy ended up doing more troubleshooting on the machine than training. We have taken a class at our local maker space so we are hoping to try what we learned out on our machine soon. This will help us be able to make dice trays, dice boxes, and other game boards that are harder to make with the lasers.
One of our favorite items to make are our self-inking stamps. Once I get the layouts done, I will get these on the website for easy purchase. We can do photos on these stamps, logos, and address stamps.
We purchased a second heat press that has preset temps and times in it for our heat transfers that we can do for shirts and other apparel items. This helps with not having to change settings back and forth for other items and protects our apparel type items from any of the sublimation type items that use ink and could accidentally have some bleed ink leftover that would get on the material and mess it up.
The last piece of equipment that we have bought over our ten years is a second Trotec Rayjet 50 machine. This allows us to do our industrial labels on one machine and our personalized gift type items on the other. This has been a real time saver for us to be able to run two identical machines at the same time.
Although, it was a short and sweet tour, we hope that you have enjoyed learning a little bit about each tool. We love the diversity that we have to be able to make the best items for our customers.