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Rotary Engraving Machine

A rotary engraving machine is similar to an industrial milling machine, in that both remove material from the work piece. A single rotary cutter is positioned over a two-dimensional work area. When the cutter moves down into the item, material is removed to a specific depth. On a milling machine, this depth is usually adjustable over a wide range. On a rotary engraving machine, the rotary cutter has two vertical positions: up and down. The up position allows free movement over the material, while the down position removes material.

BFS uses a Newing-Hall Model 300 rotary engraving machine.

The rotary cutter mechanism has a nose piece just above the tip of the rotary cutter. In the down position, the nose piece rests on the material, and the tip cuts into the material. This design allows precise adjustment of the cutting depth, which is only a few thousandths of an inch.

As plastic chips are cut away, they need to be cleared from the surface to allow continued cutting. Also, these chips could scratch the thin layer as the nosepiece moves over the material. With a hose attached to the side of the nosepiece, the chips are vacuumed away as they are cut from the engraving material.

The rotary cutter is specifically designed for the type of material and the desired effect. BFS uses Antares cutters with micrograin carbide tips.

While good hardware is essential for producing engraved products, good software makes the process faster. The ability to edit and save engraving information brings office automation to the engraving machine. Word processors process more that just words, and engraving software can now manipulate images as well as text.