Tips and Tricks

Tips for Buying a Laser Engraving Machine

Tips for Buying a Laser Engraving Machine

Purchasing a laser engraving machine is a major decision for individuals and businesses. The machine is sophisticated, and it uses extremely powerful lasers for engraving. It is like a 3D printer and performs jobs effectively. As a result, you need to consider certain factors before buying one.

Since there are many options on the market, it may be difficult to determine the right machine for you. In this article, we will help you figure out how to choose a suitable laser engraving machine.

What is a Laser Engraving Machine and How Does it Work?

As its name implies, it is a number-controlled device that engraves designs on materials. It is a subtractive method of manufacturing by using lasers to change the surfaces of objects. The process is majorly used when creating images that are noticeable at eye level on materials.

To achieve the result, the machine creates intense heat through its lasers to vaporize the particles on the material for engravement. This will expose cavities on the material, thereby, forming the resulting image. The lasers mark the object’s surface. You may want to watch this video to see how a laser engraver functions.

The method is quite fast because the designs are created as the lasers move. Also, the frequency of the lasers’ movements on the object for engravement determines the deepness of the marks they create. 

Laser engravers are of various types. One has a stable workpiece where the laser alone does the movements (or inversely). Some machines are specifically for cylindrical items. Also, there are machines that the workpiece and laser do not move, but some galvo mirrors move the laser on the object’s surface when engraving.

Laser engraving is not the same as the mechanical or other traditional manual methods of engravement. The mechanical machine uses mechanical methods, like diamonds and items that are extremely hard, to engrave materials. But the laser machine uses thermal energy from lasers.

The machine is used universally, and it has high accuracy and speed. Compared to the traditional manual method, the laser method makes the effect quite delicate. It is more advantageous which has made it a good replacement for traditional methods and others.

Factors to Consider when Purchasing a Laser Engraver

Below are the factors to consider when you want to buy an engraver.

1. The Type of Materials for Engraving

The materials you work with will determine the laser engraver to buy. There are various materials for engraving. They include metal, acrylic, paper, plastic, and wood. Not every device can work on all types of materials. Thus, choose one that is compatible with your workpiece.

Additionally, the area to engrave is important. Some devices can work on large areas while others only work on small areas. Also, you need to decide whether you want the machine for DIY home use or professional use. 

It will not be a good decision to spend so much money when you want a machine for personal, home use. However, if you want it for your business, investing in a device that has optimal efficiency and performance with strong laser powers is worth it.

2. The Level of Accuracy

There are different factors that influence the accuracy of the machine. The following are the most prominent ones:

  1. Generally, square devices are more accurate than compass types.
  2. The more the spindle power of a device, the more accurate it becomes.
  3. The proficiency and technique a technician use when assembling the machine determine its accuracy. A machine that runs better will have a high level of accuracy.
  4. The device has two transmission methods: rack gear and lead screw drive. The drive type influences the accuracy of the machine. Generally, the lead screw drive has a higher precision level than the rack gear type.

3. Maintenance

This is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing the machine. You need to know the required frequency of maintenance for the device. You also need to check whether it is something that you can do by yourself or you must hire a technician. 

Trying to know whether a device is easy to repair or maintain is complicated. It may even result in downtimes for your business. If it’s difficult, you may need the help of a technician, which will result in extra costs. Therefore, look for devices that are easy to repair and maintain. You may want to visit to learn how to maintain an engraving machine.

4. The Replacement Parts

You need to check if the device has readily available replacement parts in case it breaks down. Irrespective of the type you buy, it is still a machine, and it will break down someday. 

Also, no matter your level of meticulousness, a time will come when you need to replace certain parts. Hence, ensure that you can easily get the parts, else you will wait for some months before they get to you.

5. Your Budget

This is on the list of most important factors when it comes to buying an engraving machine. This is because your budget determines the type of machine you can buy. Although the price of the machine should not dictate its quality, your budget is an important decision-making factor.

If you want a device that can engrave on different materials, you should expect to spend more money. There may be cheaper options, but they may consume more energy and power, making them expensive over time. Therefore, ensure you consider these factors when setting your budget.

The prices of engravers vary. The factors affecting their prices include the type of laser, engraving material, engraving area, and laser power.

What Can You Do with a Laser Engraving Machine?

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You can use the device on almost any type of surface – glass, leather, wood, plastic, or metal. You can also get various engraved materials. Additionally, it is very effective compared to traditional methods for smaller objects like jewelry. 

Also, the chances of deforming or damaging the material are small and you can apply the technique in different fields like fine art and medicine. The device has many industrial applications, but you can still use it at home. An example of a home engraver is the carbon dioxide laser system. You can connect it to your computer’s USB port, and it works like your home printer. 

You can use the device in the following industries:

  1. Advertising: engraving double-color plates, acrylic, signs, crystals, trophies, authorizations, etc.
  2. Glass: pre-engraving sandblasting films, shadows, glass background walls, glass screens, etc.
  3. Marble: engraving images and creating decorative paintings (first engrave, then hand color before mounting on a frame).
  4. Jewelry: gold engravings and making jade and gold pendants.
  5. Handicraft: engraving text and beautiful patterns on shells, marble, leather, bones, ivory, bamboo, wood, etc.
  6. Leather Garment: complex text graphic engraving on fur, fabric, artificial leather, and synthetic leather. Engraving on garments, gloves, home decoration, hats, shoes, handbags, cars, and toys. 
  7. Packaging: engraving on a rubber sheet, knife sheet for cutting die, double-layered sheet, plastic sheet, etc.
  8. Models: creating airplane models, architectural sand table models, etc. 

Benefits of Using a Laser Engraving Machine

The benefits of using a laser engraver are:

1. It is Reliable

One major benefit of this method of engraving is that the laser beam does not touch the material physically. Instead, it relies on heat from the lasers to get the job done. This method is referred to as a non-contact method.

This gives it an edge over traditional methods as it does not leave knife marks that end up damaging or deforming the surface of processed parts or materials. The lasers target only a portion for vaporization while the surrounding areas are left untouched.

2. It is Safe

The device focuses on safety for both its users and consumers. Since it replaces manual methods that involve using harmful chemicals, the device prevents workers from operating under such conditions. It works with a computer; therefore, you can operate it from a certain distance. 

3. It is Eco-Friendly

Since it removes the use of chemicals, lasers are environmentally friendly compared to other methods. It does not only achieve this during the engraving process but also when the entire process is over. It leaves a little amount of waste since a huge part is vaporized. Unlike harmful wastes, the wastes that lasers leave are usually in form of dust particles. 

4. It is Highly Efficient

The process is highly efficient, and you can switch between different materials and depths to achieve various results. It is also efficient when you think about costs of maintenance and service life, which are lower than traditional methods.

Some recent devices can complete both engraving and marking. Both are quite similar but marking leaves marks at the surface level; it does not go deep. You may want to check our list of best laser engraving machine to know which one is suitable for your business or personal use.


This article focused on the factors to consider when purchasing a laser engraver. It also discussed the uses and benefits of the machine. We hope the information shared has been useful.

Education, Tips and Tricks

4 Tips for Filing Taxes in 2021

In case you forgot, tax season is creeping up on us again. 2020 was a bizarre year for all of us, and your taxes this year might reflect that. Don’t get caught doing your taxes last minute! Here are 4 Tips for Filing Taxes in 2021.

  1. Get organized

Start a filing system for all of your documents. Keep all the transactions and receipts that can affect your tax return in 2021. It’s important to stay organized so that you don’t lose anything and you don’t forget items from months ago. Be aware that the last day for filing taxes in 2021 is April 15. 

  1. Figure out your bracket

To estimate how much in taxes you owe this year, you need to find out what tax bracket you belong to. The U.S. has a progressive tax system, and the rate at which you are taxed ranges from 10%- 37% of your annual income. This is not a flat rate because each individual tax bracket is taxed at the rate set for the bracket. The tax brackets are as follows:

  • 10% for incomes less than $9,875
  • 12% for incomes more than $9,875
  • 22% for incomes more than $40,125
  • 24% for incomes more than $85,525
  • 32% for incomes more than $163,300
  • 35% for incomes more than $207,350
  • 37% for incomes more than $518,400

Be aware of the fact that unemployment benefits are taxable income. 

  1. Learn about the deductions and credits you can apply for

A deduction is an expense that you’ve had during the year that you can subtract from your taxable income. A tax credit is an actual dollar-to-dollar reduction in your tax bill. Many of the same deductions and credits apply from last year. Some popular ones to be aware of include:

  • Child Tax Credit – If you have a child who you can claim as a dependant, you can get up to $2,000 per child. If you end up having $0 to pay in taxes this year, you can even get a credit of $1,400 from the IRS.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit – If you earned less than $56,844 last year, you might be eligible for the EITC, which can give you $538 to $6,660.
  • Business Expenses – Those who are self-employed can claim expenses on their tax return, ranging from rent, travel expenses, and office supplies.
  • Medical Deductions – If you’ve spent time in the hospital because of the pandemic or any other reason, you can deduct anything over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
  • Charitable Deductions – The CARES Act allows you to deduct up to 100% of your adjustable gross income from your taxes.
  • Education – The American Opportunity Credit (AOC) allows you to deduct $2,500 from your taxes if you are in your first four years of college. If you are past that, you can deduct up to $2,000 as part of the Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • The stimulus check and the CARES Act Relief Fund count as a credit this year and not as a deduction from your taxes. 
  • The PPP loan acts as a deduction that you can use on any expenses paid from the loan from your taxable income.
  1. Retirement funds

There are generally two different retirement funds out there, the 401(k) and the IRA, and you should be aware of how they affect your taxes. Money put into a 401(k) won’t get taxed by the IRS. However, the IRA works a little differently depending on if you have a traditional or Roth IRA. With a traditional IRA, you don’t pay taxes on your deposits, but you pay taxes on your withdrawals. Roth IRAs are the opposite: you pay taxes on what you put in, but not on what you take out.

These tips should make filing your taxes this year just a little less difficult. If you need more tax help, remember to seek out a professional to avoid costly mistakes.

Home, Tips and Tricks

Why Now is a Good Time to Refinance Your Home

Why Now is a Good Time to Refinance Your Home

There have been many hardships that have come with COVID, the shut down of businesses and job loss as well as many with new healthcare bills.

If you are an optimist and like to find silver linings in all that is evil, you know there is a huge benefit COVID has had on interest rates and they are still hovering at near record lows. Chances are numerous lenders or your own mortgage company may have contacted you by now to help you understand what these times can mean for you as a homeowner.

We just refinanced ourselves to take advantage of these rates. Why wouldn’t we? There are a few reasons why you may want to take advantage of low interest rates today, more than ever. It may never be this low again for a long time, so consider refinancing for these common reasons I will discuss below.

Refinance to pay your home off faster

If you have a tad bit of room in your monthly budget, this may be the reason you want to refinance your home. Anytime you want to move from a 30, 20 or possibly even a 15-year to a lower term it will cost you a bit more a month.

For obvious reasons, to pay your home off faster you have to pay more per month. The idea of being mortgage free in 15 years rather than 30 sounds magical. When interest rates are low, this means more money out per month but not as much out as the when rates are higher. So, if you want to put out the lowest possible increase for a faster payoff you have to make the move when the rates are what they are today.

There is always a cost to refinance so you also need to consider that fee, but with rates as low as they are the refinance calculations may still be in your favor. The interest savings over the life of your loan would certainly outweigh the initial costs saving potentially thousands of dollars in the end.

Refinance to save money each month

If you are in need of extra money each month, stretching out your term can be an option. You will have to weigh the cost of refinancing (fee) and how much it saves you each month. This might be the last resort for refinancing but many times home owners can choose this option when they need that extra monthly cash to tackle other debt quicker or save for a big event.

Refinancing your home could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a month depending on the interest rate you land. You may want to refinance to stretch your term if it means a higher rate than what you already have. Using some stimulus money to pay fees, getting a lower rate may be worth considering.

Refinance to cash out equity for debt or home repairs

You may be holding onto equity to use towards the purchase of a new home. However, if you need this cash now for a major home repair or a remodel, which in turn could improve the value of your home, then refinancing to take that equity out may work out for you.

Again, weigh the refinance fee with the new interest rate and any monthly payment changes to see if this will truly benefit your goal you have with this extra cash. A good rule is if you are using your equity in a way that will help you meet your credit goals or improve the value of your home down the road it is not always such a bad decision to use that equity.

We own our home now and have owned and rented in the past. Anytime rates drastically fall like this is the time to get out your finance calculators, call your trusted finance contacts and see what options are available to you. With stimulus checks in hand, this might be a great time to put that into a positive refinance situation for your household with rates as low as they are right now. They won’t stay this low for long.

Brands with a Cause, Fashion, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

Bleuet First Bras for Girls – Shopping for her first bra

Comment: I received a package from Bleuet for this post. Thank you to Bleuet for partnering with Paenting Healthy

Bleuet First Bras for Girls - Growing Up with Confidence

We all remember the pressures of growing up, experiencing puberty and constantly comparing ourselves to others. Sadly, tweens and teens do that especially as kids hit puberty and experience change sooner than others or later than most. How we talk to our tweens (boys and girls) through puberty is important. If we feel awkward so will they. If we avoid the topic they may get the wrong information elsewhere from others.

Finding tools, advice, books and videos help tremendously. Then there are brands like Bleuet who know how to help us through the ‘firsts’ with our tweens such as their first bra. Bleuet knows that girls bodies are unique. Their apparel should give them both comfort & confidence and they offer sizes for all girls. Now they can feel good in a bra that works with their bodies = confidence!

girls bra

Each bra comes packaged with beautiful colors and extra touches. But it’s in the bra itself and you have to feel it to know its comfort. I immediately wanted one for my adult self. The material of this Bleum Bra for everyday wear is made of 90% Polyester / 10% Spandex and so soft and double-lined for smooth coverage.

organic cotton

For your girls first bra there is the Bleum First Bra. The sizes start at 7/8 up to size 18. When she starts to bud and is looking for self-confidence in her changing body, it’s time for a Bleuet First Bra. 

  • Double-lined for smooth coverage
  • Reversible: two colors in each bra!
  • Adjustable straps for the perfect fit
  • Minimal seams and tag free for comfort
  • Performance, moisture-wicking fabric
  • Ultra-soft and stretches to fit her growing body
buying a first bra

Because we need to get to know and feel confident in our bodies there may be trial and error in finding the best fit for her body so Bleuet offers free returns and exchanges. You will find that they want to stay in this all day. It is minimally stitched and no tags for comfort for that reason.

best first bra

Aside from finding the best bra for your daughter, Bleuet offers Parenting Resources for you both. Their blog, Blueprint is for her also. If you are ready to take her bra shopping, take her to Bluet online and she will love all the organized information and images to guide her into shopping for her first bra and you get that topic help you need.

I also love this book, Love Your Body: A Self Love Book for Girls. We need all the tools we can get to make sure they become confident in their bodies and with the subject of change and growth.

Visit today!