A Little Bit About Laser Engraving- When another machine is better for your needs than ours

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A lot of people think that engraving is engraving, but that's not necessarily true.  There are different styles of engraving and each has it's own strengths and limitations.  The engraver we use is a CO2 laser and it's very versatile.  A CO2 laser can engrave on wood, glass, stone, some ceramics, acrylic, plastics, and coated metals.  It will not engrave on bare metals without chemical aid and vinyl will actually damage the machine.  Here is a little bit about how it works with different materials.

Metals:  We can not literally engrave into metal.  It has nothing to do with the power, it's the frequency of the light that causes this limitation.  However, we can mark anodized aluminum with permanent white markings and laser the coating off of coated metals to reveal the surface below.  We can mark on brushed stainless using a ceran based chemical that bonds to metal under the right level of heat, leaving bold, black markings.  If you actually want something engraved INTO the metal, you have to use a mechanical engraving system.  If you want to laser mark metals other than what we can mark, you have to use a different type of laser, such as a fiber laser.

Glass:  Our laser creates micro-fissures in glass.  This means the heat causes super small cracks that alone, would be invisible to the naked eye.  The end results creates a frosted glass look.  No material is really being removed, just broken up.  To remove material from glass, you would have to use a mechanical engraver, but that would leave the engraving clear and not very visible unless you fill it with paint or other filler. We can not cut glass with our laser.

Wood:  Our machine vaporizes wood, removing it cleanly and efficiently.  Other systems leave residual pieces behind, but a CO2 laser makes a perfect indentation.  Whether or not the engraving has a dark, burned in appearance depends on the type of wood used.  The best woods for solid, dark markings are beech, alder, and baltic birch.  This is why we only do engraved wood photos using those woods.  We can cut wood or MDF with our laser up to 1/8" thick efficiently.

Other materials vary, depending on how the material is made, it's tolerance to the frequency of the laser, and what the goal is with the final image.  I am always happy to answer any questions about different engraving methods so you can be sure to use the right process for the job.  Feel free to ask me a question any time.

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  • Jerry Moriearty
Comments 6
  • Signvec Pte Ltd
    Signvec Pte Ltd

    Very interesting , Good job and thanks for sharing such a good information.. http://www.signvec.com/

  • Antech Technologies
    Antech Technologies

    FANTASTIC ARTICLE !!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING THIS DETAILED POST..IT WAS VERY HELPFUL AND INTERESTING..

  • Leviticus
    Leviticus

    Thanks for explaining how CO2 lasers react to different types of materials. My parents’ anniversary is coming up, so I was thinking of designing a sign for them to hang up. Instead of just printing it, I thought I’d engrave it on wood to give it a unique look. https://acesmt.com/product-category/laser-engraving/

  • signvecpteltd
    signvecpteltd

    It’ s a nice information about Laser Engravers and all Engraving Products. Thanks for sharing the post. I am so impressed these services.

  • Green Alex
    Green Alex

    Thank you for sharing the information about Laser Engraving. I like the most its lots of features & amenity. I think Nothing is better than Laser Engraving Systems. I want to be know more about the Laser Engraving Systems is better for your needs than ours. I am so impressed these services.

  • jeff Curtis
    jeff Curtis

    Thanks for this helpful post on laser engraving. I didn’t realize there are better machines than others. I want to get a laser engraving machine to brand some wood pieces, and for decoration purposes. I didn’t know that the reason it couldn’t go onto metal was because of the frequency of light. Thanks for the interesting post!
    https://jorlink.com/ourproducts/ourmachines/lasertypes/laserengravingmachines.aspx

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