Basic Guide To Laser Engraving Machines

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What is Laser Engraving?

The aim of Laser Engraving is to engrave a specific picture or logo onto a selected material.   It is a subtractive manufacturing method. However, before the actual engraving process can begin, the machine needs a file sent from a computer to the machine’s controller, which then positions the laser. When the Laser Engraving process starts, the beam creates a high heat that burns or evaporates the surface according to the image from the file. Two different forms should be distinguished: line engraving and surface engraving. While the first one uses vector images to follow paths or lines, the second vaporizes the material to create an image into the material or give the design a 3D-like impression.  What type of file do you need for Laser Engraving? Laser Engraving systems can not read any 3D files like .stl. So you have to use formats like jpg, pdf, png, or ai that are 2D files. The model contained in the file will be converted into dots and the distance between them determines how deep the engraving will be. 

laser engraving machines

Laser Engraving Applications

Laser engraving is very versatile, which is why so many industries rely on this technology for production. 

Engraving is often used for awards or trophies to create a clean engraving on the surface. However, Laser Engraving can also be used for decorative markings or letterheads. 

In the production industry, laser engraving technology is often used for engraving barcodes onto certain parts. Engraving has the advantage that even when the part is used in production or other works, the barcode will not wear down and can still be scanned for company purposes. Other markers like QR codes are also often used with engraving technology.

Due to the precise engraving work that the laser offers, jewelry industries also work with this technology. It provides them the opportunity to offer their customers custom engraving, quickly. 

In the electronic or medical industry, parts need to be identified at any time. To provide easy and on-point identification, those parts are often marked by using laser engraving. 

There are many more different applications. However, these examples presented already show how well laser engraving can be used. If you are unsure if laser engraving is a good fit for your application, contact our team of experts to help you determine the best technology for you. 

How do laser engraving machines work?

Laser engravers are specifically designed to focus laser light for the purpose of marking wood, metal, glass, or some other material with a preselected engraving—often images or script.

The machine uses lasers to produce concentrated heat that removes the top layer of material, cutting it from an item to create the desired design.

Using powerful lasers and mirrors, the machine reflects a laser beam onto a surface of an object.

The light is focused at the right distance and set to the right power level in order to leave a mark. Too little power and it will not end up cutting into the material, too much and you can burn through the object.

Some lasers (like the GCC Spirit LS machine) are mounted on a track and make passes over the desired engraving area similar to how your ink printer prints on paper. The pro of this kind of laser is you can engrave larger areas.

Others lasers (like the RMI UF-20) are stationary and focus on a smaller surface area. The pro of this laser type is it tends to engrave faster at higher powers.

For more information about Laser Engraving Machines, please contact us immediately.

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