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Engraving success! We had a visit from a tech guy from the company that makes the engraver we got last year and have been having only partial success with.

Naturally, the first thing we tried worked perfectly- unlike what it did at any time previously. Ah, well. So we were feeling kinda dumb for a couple of minutes... till we then tried to engrave something, and the machine went nutso, as it's been doing. The tech guy said, "Well, THAT's not right!" and proceeded to make mysterious adjustments until it was right. Yay!

So after a few rounds of this, we have the ability to engrave on flat things of random sizes and shapes. Woohoo! -I say, while I knock on wood to avoid tempting fate.

Then, as he was starting to finish up, I asked if they had tried the ring engraver bit. (I was poking my head in and out while doing other stuff, rather than focusing just on this.) And no, they had not. So I said I would be happiest if they tried both the inside and outside ring engraving before the tech guy left... and neither was working right. I am SO glad I meddled! After another hour or so, the inside-ring stuff is mostly working OK, but the outside ring stuff is still failing; the tech guy is going to talk with the company tomorrow to work toward getting that functional, too.

Still- much progress!

I also got some good work done on finishing a loop-in-loop bracelet, and serious progress on a set of wedding rings.

Date: 2009-04-01 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] simbel-myne.livejournal.com
Wow, customer support!
are you able to salvage that commission?

Date: 2009-04-01 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] afmetalsmith.livejournal.com
No, alas. The deadline ran out on that one. SO insanely frustrating!!!!

I take some comfort in the fact that screwing up that one meant that we really started putting pressure on the company to get the thing to WORK. But I still feel awful about blowing that commission; that's the first time that's happened, and I hope it'll prove to be the ONLY time.

Date: 2009-04-03 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] medvssa.livejournal.com
Cool! do you engrave from templates of sorts, or can you enter your own designs?

Date: 2009-04-03 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] afmetalsmith.livejournal.com
The whole thing came with some engraving data- like a bunch of fonts, some of them quite nice, and I think some monogram designs and maybe some decorative stuff.

We really wanted it, though, in order to be able to do our own designs! and maybe fonts, even. :) Now that it's working, we can start experimenting with some of the test designs I created, including some designed to go under enamels. I'm really excited about all the possibilities!

Date: 2009-04-04 09:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] medvssa.livejournal.com
That is super cool then!! so you enter data... vector images?

Date: 2009-04-04 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] afmetalsmith.livejournal.com
Yep. It'll accept Adobe Illustrator files, which is what I really wanted. I'm experimenting with some ways to sort-of simulate guilloché to go under enamels, for instance, as well as other patterning for non-enameled jewelry. Now that the machine works, I can start running some trials with the artwork I've defined so far!

Plus being able to use DIFFERENT fonts will be really cool.

Date: 2009-04-04 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] medvssa.livejournal.com
That is SO great!! the possibilities are endless...

Can it remove entire chunks as for champlevé? or only fine lines?

And last but not least, would you take engraving comissions? as in, just the base for me to work in?

Date: 2009-04-04 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] afmetalsmith.livejournal.com
It ought to be able to remove chunks as for champleve. We'll need to get some different bits for that, but we're planning to do that- there are a LOT of bits available, but they're pricey.

And yeah- once we get things working reliably, we'll be happy to do commissions. :)

Date: 2009-04-05 07:29 am (UTC)

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