How to Make Beveled Edge Award Bases with a Laser Machine
Making beveled edge award bases with a laser isn’t easy. It’s hard to many laser engravers, especially newbies in the engraving industry. What makes it hard is the fact that laser engraving systems are principally configured to cut materials at an angle of 90°. They (lasers) don’t meet the material surface at any other angle unless with a help of an additional tool to create slanting cutting edges. And this is what we’re going to discuss in this blog post.
What Are Beveled Edge Award Bases?
Before we dive into how to create beveled edge award bases, let us first understand what they are. A bevel is a slanting edge. It is a cut whereby the sharp edge of the award base (or any other material) is removed to create a slanting effect. And these are award bases whose edges are not perpendicular to their faces.
How Do You Create Beveled Edge Award Bases?
Now that you know what beveled edges are, let us move straight away to how you can easily create them with your CO2 laser system.
Step 1 – Create a tool to help you slant the material
To make beveled edge award bases, you first of all prepare a wedge-like tool that will hold your award base at an angle. For instance, if you want your base cut at an angle of 45°, you will have to prepare your tool at that angle.
You can make the tool from any scrap materials you have. For instance, we cut the one we use from acrylic of 8mm thick. Make it strong enough. It’s also good to make it heavier so that it doesn’t easily move when you place the material on it.
Step 2 – Prepare the guiding and cutting lines
After making the wedge to support your award base, you now embark on the actual task of cutting the bevel. In your designing software program i.e. CorelDraw, prepare two lines. I will call the first line, the guiding line and the second line the cutting line as you see in the image above.
Separate the two parallel lines by 0.4cm. But this is adjustable according to the width of bevel you want. The guiding line is only to guide you on where to place the award base you’re going to bevel. And the cutting line is where the laser beam will pass to cut the bevel.
Step 3 –Place a piece of cardstock and cut a guiding line
Having prepared the two lines in 2 above, then place a piece of cardstock paper into your laser system and cut first the guiding line. You will have to hide the cutting line when cutting the guiding line. As a tip, put each of the lines on a different layer when preparing them for easy manipulation.
Step 4 – Cut your award base with a beveled edge
After cutting the guiding line, place your award base with its bottom edge touching exactly where the guiding line passes. Then support the base with your wedge-like tool to keep it in a slanting position. Make sure that you focus the lens properly. Then hide first the guiding line and begin cutting the award base following the cutting line. If the material is thick, you will have to make several passes for the machine to produce a complete beveled cut.
Creating good beveled edge award bases requires practice and experience. As you keep doing it, you finally perfection in it. Sometimes, your bevels may not look as smooth as you want them to be. What you do in this case is to smoothen them with a sander. If you don’t have a bench sander, you can also use sanding paper to do it manually.
Using a bevel to finish your award bases is a decorative finishing technique that will attract many customers to your custom award business. Beveled edge award bases look more appealing as opposed to straight edge award bases. However, you will need constant practice and being careful to produce good bevels.
Has this tutorial been of benefit to you? Please use the comment section below to share your experience with us.
Hello! My name is Charles Kiyimba, a creative engraver, a professional teacher, a passionate blogger, a self-made graphic / web designer and the founder of Goleza Designers Ltd, an engraving business that turns images into real products. Through my hands-on experience, I share with you free helpful information on our products and services, business, marketing and personal development. Always dive in for more!