Aspen Laser Engraving and Cutting Services
Laser engraving technology sparks business idea for former PC tech in Serbia.
For the past seven years former computer technician, Slavko Nikolic, has been the owner, manager, designer, laser operator and customer service representative for Aspen Laser Engraving & Cutting Services located in Pozega, Serbia.
Though he’s had assistance from his father, for whom he is very grateful, Slavko tells us, “I’m pretty much a one-man show, and now I can add ‘website builder’ to the list as I have recently started building my online presence.”
What do we think about that decision now? Well, after purchasing the 50-watt Helix in 2009, our business has greatly improved and that says it all.
The decision for Slavko to leave his previous position was largely influenced by sheer curiosity. “A few years ago I saw an ad on the Internet for a ‘laser printer’, but it was so ridiculously expensive I didn’t even read the text,” Slavko said. “Two years later I was interested in going into business for myself and for some reason I remembered that ad. When I discovered the equipment was actually a laser engraving and cutting system, I found it fascinating and for an entire year I carefully researched the machinery, its capabilities and different manufacturers.”
“In 2004 I selected an Epilog Legend 24TT and, with help from my father, I started Aspen Engraving,” Slavko said, “Because of all my research, I immediately knew all the possibilities the laser brought about - I couldn’t wait to get started.”
While Aspen produces and sells stamps, Slavko tells us the primary source of revenue for his business is performing laser engraving and cutting services to a diverse clientele. “We work for larger production companies as well as individual customers who want unique and special gifts. Souvenirs also make up a portion of our business. I love the creativity involved and how great it feels to fulfill the precise requests from our customers,” Slavko said. “We have many popular applications; however, lately there has been an increase in religious items, which reminds me of my first (and favorite) engraving of the Holy Mother.”
Slavko said a large factor in selecting a CO2 laser from Epilog was the variety of materials that can be engraved. “We have used every material you can imagine in our business!” he tells us. “Mostly wood, Rowmark materials and acrylic, but we’ve also used brick, sugar, even toast," Slavko said. "I actually ate the lasered toast, but I don't recommend it," he joked.
After purchasing the laser and establishing the business, it took only a few short years before Slavko knew it was time to upgrade. “I knew exactly what I needed,” he said. “Bigger working area and more power.” For his second purchase, Slavko knew the features and benefits he was looking for and began the research process to find the system that best met his needs.
“Honestly it was a dead tie between Epilog and another U.S. laser manufacturer,” Slavko said, “but what closed the deal was Epilog’s technical support. What do we think about that decision now? Well, after purchasing the 50-watt Helix in 2009, our business has greatly improved and that says it all.”