If you ask any DIY enthusiast what’s on top of their wish list, chances are high they’ll say a laser engraver. Laser engraving has gained traction over the years, owing to its ability to produce clear and permanent engraving on any material.
There are many reasons why one may want to use this process.
Perhaps you’d want to give your appliances or jewelry a more personal touch. Or maybe you’re more business minded and would love to add a logo, barcodes, or model numbers to your products. In either way, engraving can do the trick.
Regardless of the reason for the process, the goal remains the same: To create clear and visible permanent marks that can be used for identification and traceability. In this post, you’ll learn more about laser engraving and how the process works.
What is Laser Engraving?
Laser engraving is the practice of using lasers to etch texts and graphics to an object.
This is done by removing a section of a material using a laser beam. When a high-powered laser beam is focused onto a material, it vaporises the surface, leaving behind a cavity or an engraved mark in place.
Laser engraving works with a variety of materials, including glass, stainless steel, aluminium, wood, and plastic.
While no laser engraving machine is suited for all materials, www.needham-coding.com in the UK does have a few powerful laser engravers that can work on a wide range of applications, including metals, ceramic, and wood.
How Does Laser Engraving Work?
Most people picture anything related to lasers as a sophisticated subject of science fiction. However, laser engraving is a simple process that involves only 3 steps. Below find the steps involved in the laser engraving process.
Step 1: Ideation
The first step in the engraving process is ideation.
It’s up to you, the artist, to determine what you want to engrave and the kind of material you’d like to use. You can use glass, steel, wood, or even stone, and whatever you want to be engraved on those materials can only be limited by your own creativity.
Once you’ve got your idea ready, it’s time to design your image.
Step 2: Image Creation
Designing your desired image or text carefully is very important as this affects the final product.
Your desired image for engraving must be produced with a graphics editing software. These include popular applications that can produce vector files such as Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD, and Adobe Illustrator among others. Some advanced laser engraving machines come with their own software for designing texts and graphics.
The saved vector file containing your desired image is then uploaded into the laser engraver software and translated into numerical data.
Step 3: Engraving
Once the image has been transferred to the machine, the next step is to place your chosen material into the laser engraving machine.
Usually, the laser ray is focused onto the base of the substance that is to be engraved and it traces the outlines on the material. The movement of the laser is controlled by computerised programming.
Since the focal end of the laser is usually very hot, it vaporises the surface of the target material leaving an engraved mark whose depth can range from one fifteenth to an eighth of an inch. Depending on the laser engraving machine and software, you can control the line thickness, number of passes, depth of the cut and other variables.
For more information about laser engraving, and how to choose the best laser engraver for your business, contact Needham Coding today.