Making bevelled edge award bases with a laser isn’t easy. It’s hard for many laser engravers, especially the new ones in the engraving business. What makes creating bevelled edges even harder is that laser engraving systems cut materials at 90°. They (lasers) don’t etch the material surface at any other angle unless with the help of a supporting 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 diving into how to create bevelled 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) gets removed to create a slanting effect. And these are award bases whose sides are not perpendicular to their faces.
How Do You Create Bases With Bevelled Edges?
Let us move straight to how you can easily create them with your CO2 laser system now that you know what bevelled edges are.
Step 1 – Create a Tool to Help You Slant the Material
To make bevelled edge award bases, prepare a wedge-like device to hold your award base at an angle. For instance, you will have to prepare your tool at an angle of 45 degrees if you want your award base cut 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 quickly 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 bevelled edge. 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 like in the image above.
Separate the two parallel lines by 0.4cm. But this is adjustable according to the width of the slope you want. The guiding line shows you where to place the award base on which you will create the bevelled edge. And the cutting line is where the laser beam will pass to cut the bevelled edge.
Step 3 –Place a Piece of Cardstock and Cut a Guiding Line.
Having prepared the two lines in 2 above, place a piece of cardstock paper into your laser system and cut first the guiding score. You will have to hide the cutting line when cutting the guiding track. As a tip, each line is on a different layer when preparing them for easy manipulation
Step 4 – Cut your Award Base with a Bevelled Edge
After cutting the guiding line, position your award base to make the bottom edge touche where the guiding line passes. Support the award base with your wedge-like tool to keep it slanted and ensure proper lens focus. Then, hide the guiding line, and begin cutting the award base by following the cutting line. If the material is thick, you will make several passes for the machine to produce a full bevelled cut.
Creating pleasant bevelled edge award bases requires practice and experience. As you keep doing it, you are finally perfect in it. Sometimes, your bevelled edges 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 bevelled edge to finish your award bases is a decorative finishing technique that will attract many customers to your custom award business. Bevelled edge award bases look more appealing than straight edge award bases. However, you will need constant practice and be careful to produce perfect bevelled edges.
Has this tutorial been of benefit to you? Please use the comment section below to share your experience with us.