Category: Tech

Understanding LEGO Collectibles

Understanding LEGO Collectibles

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Thousands of LEGO fans are going for LEGO-themed fairs to meet and play in areas filled with millions of LEGO bricks of all colors and themes.

As they play, most are on the lookout for LEGO bricks that they can collect. LEGO collectibles are loved by collectors all over the world. The need for collecting the LEGO bricks is to cash out on them a few years down the line, or more commonly, to keep them as memoirs. It is always a good thing to see your kid play with LEGO bricks that you collected a few years ago. Some collect for the fun of it!

Most of these sets have some monetary value, much more than the original price of the brick. Bought for a few hundred dollars, these bricks end up changing hands for thousands of dollars. You can start your hobby at LEGO Ways.

The growing interest in this hobby is also due to the increasing number of adult fans. Fans are now looking to outdo each other with the number of bricks they have and how they make use of them. This is why you can now get a secondary market of adult LEGO lovers looking for coveted sets and LEGO mini-figures.

Who is Collecting?

You might wonder who the collectors of the LEGO bricks are. Well, you will not get surprised that they range from ages and location. Many people have joined a LEGO community whereby they can talk about LEGO bricks and buy a few. The community provides a price guide and allows the buyers to review the bricks before they make a decision.

The forum members talk about each and everything right from the prices to the types of bricks that are collectible.

Collecting is not limited to the men alone, but also the women who are now jumping right into the fray. Ties have led to the launch of a female LEGO forum that is geared towards the females. All markets are also involved, ranging from the US to Europe and Asia.

The Appeal of Collecting LEGO Designs

If you thought that it is a small hobby, then you are mistaken. LEGO collection has taken center stage in many peoples lives. Many are leaving their jobs to focus on LEGO collection and how to find new ways to play with the bricks. Building LEGO collections is a hobby that you cannot let pass you, with many users selling their creations at thousands of dollars, literally making a living out of the hobby.

Many have come up with touring exhibitions that attract millions of LEGO enthusiasts across the continent.

The good thing is that these bricks come with a sense of timelessness to them. The bricks you had as a kid will snap together beautifully with the bricks that you buy now. You can easily use them to make the magical effect that only LEGO can deliver.

Highly Coveted

Many collectors have started to notice that LEGO toys are bringing a lot of interest to many people. They have also noticed that there are a few bricks that are sought after by many people.

Some of the toys that trended for a few dollars now go for hundreds of dollars on the market. A few that retailed at less than 100 dollars now go for more than 1000 dollars.

This shows one thing the LEGO sets appreciate in value, and they take a few years to peak in value. The time the sets take to increase in value runs from 2 years or more. Some of the best sets that you need to consider include; Star Wars sets, which can increase in value at any time. This is because of the star wars craze that has swept the world. Others that can make you money in the future are superhero sets as well.

For the best prices, make sure the sets are in mint condition and come in sealed boxes. Large sets peak faster than small ones.

Final Thoughts

You have to know what kind of sets to buy so that you have a collection that will give you returns later on. Take time to understand the prices and the sets that are in high demand.

Food Labeling and Industrial Ink

Food Labeling and Industrial Ink

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There is a lot of the production industry and consumer goods sector. With thousands of products on the market being produced every single day, there is a whole host of requirements for the packaging and labeling that they come in. This is one of the primary reasons why industrial&CIJ ink is such an integral part of this process and an exciting one. Each industry under the consumer goods umbrella has its specific requirements when it comes to food grade labelling and ink. These requirements also mean different methods of manufacturing and processes that companies have to integrate.

When it comes to the food and beverage sector, it’s no surprise that safety is paramount and the most critical aspect that’s heavily controlled. This is because strict rules need to be implemented to avoid contamination of the food. When it comes to ink, steps have to be taken to make sure it can’t be transferred from the packaging to the food itself. The FDA has to approve all ink that is used within the food industry this is called determining it to be food grade.

Food Safety and Migration

The transference of ink onto food is called migration. This particular area of food safety is essential and kept under control using a variety of methods. Let’s look at some aspects of the ink and packaging itself that need to be a certain way to avoid this:

  • Dry tone
  • The manufacturing of the food safety labels
  • The different options when it comes to coating
  • Temperature: migration has a higher chance of happening in warmer temperatures
  • The consistency of the food itself. When food is drier, it has a lower risk of being contaminated by migrated ink.

Dry tone comes out on top when it comes to reliability and safety. One of the primary reasons for this is because dry tone has an ingredient that makes it impossible to migrate. This is called pigment. Because no liquids are involved in the making of dry tone, there is no risk of migration.

In contrast, a liquid toner has a high risk of being transferred to the edible product, which makes it unsuitable to be used in this industry.

Industrial inkjet printing that is water based doesn’t have a high chance of being susceptible to migration. However, it is one of the most expensive inks to use with packaging, because of the primers involved. For this reason, it’s not a popular choice, even though it has a low risk of migration.

Another thing to think about when producing a product is the quality of the label and imaging. The higher the quality, the more aesthetically pleasing it is to the customer, which will increase their chances of buying it.

Overall, this means that the process of labeling food must be efficient, but thorough so that the result is of high quality. The customer is attracted to products they find visually pleasing, so along with safety, this is another top priority when making food labels.

Customize Materials With Different Laser Marking Machines

You may already know about laser marking technology. Of course, that is natural because it is quite the trend these days. Perhaps you may want to buy a laser marking machine, but you are unsure of which type you should buy. Well, different industries have varying needs. You have to know about the types of laser marking, to find out which one you need.

The Laser Marking Technology

In general, laser marking works by firing a low-temperature, focused beam of light to carve designs onto a material surface. Unlike both laser engraving and laser etching, laser marking causes no damage to the material’s surface, thanks to its low power. The result is a discoloration that is caused by oxidation of the material.

From reading that description, you should be able to infer that the process is quick and takes no difficulty. Also, laser marking is quite versatile because you can use different materials for marking, and it still gets the job done. Moreover, the machines provide permanent marks with excellent quality. Furthermore, laser marking tools include a computer-assisted interface that allows you to program the design to be embedded. Lastly, laser marking machines require only minimal maintenance.

Purchasing Laser Marking Machines

You can find laser marking instruments in your area, or you may shop online. These are quite common now, so you will not have trouble finding one. If you need a versatile laser marking tool, then check out the Minilase XL Desktop Laser Marking Machine. The model is useful for various industries.

Types of Laser Marking Technologies

There are four types of laser marking technologies, namely annealing, carbon migration, coloration, and foaming. Obviously, each type has a different functionality than the other. Furthermore, each one offers you different results. You may read their descriptions and functions, then decide on which type of laser marking you need.

Annealing

Annealing laser marking is the oxidation by applying heat to a surface material. Of course, the heat has a low amount of aggression. The process results in a defined, black mark that has a characteristic smoothness. However, you can vary the temperature at the metal’s surface. Doing so will give you different shades of green, red or yellow.

The process of annealing can be quite slow because it relies only on heat for oxidation. Also, cooling is required after you heat the metal. The types of metals usable for annealing are iron, stainless steel, steel, and titanium. Lastly, annealing is quite common in the medical industry for branding and internal tracking purposes.

Carbon Migration

Carbon migration laser marking also heats a metal or metal alloy, to cause it to bond chemically with the carbon it contains. The chemical bonds with carbon molecules bring its properties to the material’s surface. You will see a soot-like marking, which can be dark to black.

The advantage of carbon migration is the faster process thanks to the high-powered heat it uses. Of course, it is more concentrated, so it heats only a small area at a time. The glaring disadvantage when it comes to carbon migration is that it is only useful for metals with carbon. Examples of carbon containing metals are carbide, stainless steel, steel, and titanium. Lastly, carbon migration works best for aerospace, jewelry-engraving, and metalworking industries.

Coloration

Coloring metals or plastics work by heating specific parts of a material’s surface, for a certain amount of time. Different colors and shades result through controlling the pulse frequency and width of the surface. For plastic coloration, manipulating polymers in the plastic material results to visible colors. On the other hand, metal coloration works by oxidation of previously treated or untreated surfaces. Overall, you can use coloration for decorative applications such as color coatings, decorative jewelry, and marking colors.

Foaming

Foam laser marking is useful for creating light colors on darker-colored plastics. The color changes result through controlled and contained molten burns on the plastic surface. When the surface melts, foaming gas bubbles will form. Then, such bubbles will change the light refraction properties of the plastic. Overall, foaming is great if you want to provide lettering, light color effects, and symbols for plastic products.

Conclusion

The different types of laser marking technologies each come with their applications and expected results. For example, if you want to mark metals in general, then go for annealing. Carbon migration works best for carbon-containing metals. Also, if you work in the plastic industry, then foaming may come in handy. Lastly, coloration is ideal for decorative purposes.