Written By Chris
Ultra Fast, Engrave almost anything
With the holiday season fast approaching, some folks may be wondering how they can add some extra flare to their gift giving this year.
Adding a personalized touch to a gift can make all the difference. But, you might not be interested in picking up a complicated hobby.
The all new Sainsmart Z4 Laser Engraver is portable and works with your smartphone or tablet. Engrave on your favorite metal tumbler, personalize your cellphone or laptop and alot more in just minutes.
What is Laser Engraving?
In the simplest of terms, it's a process which uses the heat of a focused laser beam on the intended surface to “burn away” or “etch” a very small and precise surface area. This process can be used to engrave or etch images or cut out shapes on a variety of materials.
This process can take a long time depending on the size of your desired project or detail of the design. Traditionally laser engravers move along 2 Axis up, down and side to side to process a design, similar to an inkjet printer. Galvo lasers like the Z4 use a mirror to move the focused laser spot to rapidly engrave a design. With movement removed from the process, time to engrave a surface is dramatically reduced, In most cases be more than half or even a quarter the time of a traditional laser engraving.
Typically you need to learn CAD software to create your image/design and use some form of CAM software to operate your laser machine which requires a computer and a constant physical or wireless network connection. With the Z4 you can simply work off your smartphone or tablet over a bluetooth connection to create your design, import a photo and run your engraver.
What can I make?
The Sainsmart Z4 Laser engraver can be used with most materials. With its ultra fast processing speed it is perfect for finishing projects with customized touches like engraving your company logo or seal onto a cutting board, or repeated engravings on something like a metal plaque, cards or ornaments using the Laser Engraving stand.
How do I use the Z4 Laser Engraver?
Nothing complicated here! The Z4 is loaded with features that help make the process as painless as possible.
Position your designs EXACTLY where you want them. There is an easy to use outline feature built into the handle. Press the button and your loaded project will project onto your engraving surface from the Laser Engraver showing you the outlined boundaries of the design.
For example, after you finish your first engraving you might want to repeat that exact engraving on another piece. Rather than have to restart the process, you can simply press the “Repeat” button on the handle to recreate the last project.
When used in “Portable Mode”, that's when the Engraver has the Magnetic UV Shield attached and operates when placed directly onto the material surface, like a cutting board for this example.
To get started, open up the engraver app.
Enable Bluetooth on your phone or tablet and using the “connect” option in the app connect to the engraver.
To start a design, choose where you will be pulling the image from, for example I will be pulling an image from Photos.
Select the image you wish to engrave, then press completed at the lower right of the screen.
You will now be able perform basic editing for the photo: Crop, add images or text, or Eraser. Once you have finished, click on Next Step on the top right of the screen.
Now you will have the option to do more specific editing for your image. You have the option to: Change Black and White Contrast, Grayscale, Outline, Sketch, Rotate, Invert, and Horizontal Flip. When you are satisfied with your edits, click on Next Step in the top right of the screen.
Next you will set the scale for the image you wish to engrave. You can also click on the Smart Positioning button to create an outline for where the engraving will be so you can choose the perfect size and position for your design. Once your design is the perfect size and position, click on Next Step on the top right of the screen.
Next choose the type of material you will be engraving on and push Start Carving on the Top right to start the engraver.
For this example on a cutting board it took almost 3 minutes to do a large design.
Do not move the engraver or material it is engraving while the device is active.
Same design scaled down onto a Lazy suzan, took less than 1 minute.
Portable mode is perfect for engraving designs all over for work, decore, or just for fun. Surprise your spoons, encourage your cutting boards, and show love to your lazy susan.