Believe it or not, food personalization holds a wealth of opportunities for custom engraving shops. Not only does it allow you to use your current laser system in a unique way in order to branch out into additional markets, it creates new ways of expanding your digital presence.
First off, the food industry is looking to take advantage of laser technology and 3-D printing. From direct engraving on produce – which eliminates the need for paper labels – to intricate designs on pastries, these kinds of jobs could lead to your next prospective client.
If you’re simply looking for a new way to spark a buzz on social media, boost interaction with your followers and gain more, a great way to grab attention is with food. You can post a video or go live on social media to show your shop recreating this unexpected treat with your laser, then use it as a way to advertise what’s possible with the equipment and services you offer.
We thought that since crÃ¨me brÃ»lée requires torching, why not replace the flame with a laser and add a personalized twist to it? For this particular experiment, we used a 40-watt LS100 Gravograph laser, which has an 18- X 12-inch lasering area. You can also try a larger laser with 80-150 wattage.
The job consisted of two parts: a circle to create a round crust and the design for personalization – we went with our signature “G” to test this for a corporate event. Consider adding your own logo if you choose to make a video, or help your client brainstorm design concepts.
The settings used are as follows:
- Spacing: 0.0354 in (just less than 1 mm)
- Vector toolpath
- DPI: 1200
- Defocus: 1.378 inches/35 mm
- Power: 80 percent
The consistency of your crÃ¨me brÃ»lée (or any other dessert you want to personalize with a laser) may affect your results. Try a few different settings to get the perfect crust you are looking for. While galvo lasers are faster than gantry, remember there is a delicate balance between speed and time that the caramelized sugar needs to cure – particularly if you want to personalize it with a more complex design. Ultimately, your desired aesthetic defines the settings, but you can use these recommendations as a base.
Personalization makes any ordinary product into one-of-a-kind, memorable masterpiece. From cute birthday gifts for your family and friends to large orders for corporate events, personalization of food is a great avenue to explore.
-Elena Iogha, Gravotech Group