EducationQ&A

How can retailers overcome challenges with wood customization?

Most challenges with customizing wood can be overcome by understanding the capabilities of the equipment and the properties of the medium. For example, when dark wood such as walnut is laser engraved, it will not “pop” like lighter woods such as alder; a color-fill might be needed, or maybe a color printer should be used. 

A common mistake made by the laser engraving industry is thinking speed is everything and time is money. That is true with many things, but not necessarily so when working with wood. A great photo on a piece of wood that took a little longer to make can hold a much higher resale value than one that is done quickly and is less striking. When laser engraving photos, for instance, speed is your enemy, and your software is your closest friend. 

Not all wood even in the same species look the same or laser the same. That’s the beauty of wood-no two pieces will ever look alike. Folks do need to understand that if the project or pieces they are making need to be exact duplicates of each other, wood is probably not the right medium for that project.

   —Colorado Heirloom

Barry Stewart Colorado Heirloom

Barry Stewart

Starting in 1986 until present, Barry is the owner/president of Colorado Heirloom Inc., employing 25-30 production woodworkers. The wood products manufacturer specializes in design and custom products for the laser, direct-to-substrate printing, signage, and hospitality industries. Barry's duties include, but are not limited to, the vision, design, and leadership for the Colorado Heirloom team.

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