Laser engraving is a sister practice of laser etching and laser marking. It is done in a slightly different way where there is no use of inks or tools that contact the surface material. There are CO2 laser engraving machines which primarily release low-powered laser beams. And then there are high-powered lasers which facilitate the high-volume laser marking and engraving applications.
Here is how it works:
Basically, laser cutting machines have three common components: the laser itself, the control system, and the marking surface. You, as an operator, can set the software program to modify settings on the laser cutter. You can change these settings whenever needed. When it comes to laser engraving, you need to choose standard parts like Mitsubishi laser parts or trumpf laser parts to ensure the smooth working of the system. Images chosen for the engraving onto a given material should be from graphics editing software like Illustrator, Inkscape, AutoCAD. In short, you need vector files. Because images in the vector files maintain the clarity and proportions when adjusted to any size.
Further, you have to upload the image into the cutting software. The machine will then translate it into numeric data. The software would capture that data and use it to program the laser machine’s controller apparatus to produce the provided image.
Laser Engraving Applications:
- There are aerial vehicles by major contractors in the construction industry which incorporate thousands of parts. They travel through a complex global supply chain from their point of origin to the manufacturing units. In order to promote quality and accountability throughout the supply chain, vendors leverage laser engraving machines to mark products with barcodes and serial numbers which shows their traceability.
- Apart from the aerospace industry, it is popular in the jewelry manufacturing industry. It can be useful to create various artwork.
- As an added advantage of its depth, this technology is popular for making stamps, dies, and moulds. Hence, it is popular in industries like automotive, electronics, semiconductor manufacturing, etc.
- Apart from that, retail vendors can leverage engraving to make several customized products like wooden key chains, coasters, kitchen products, and so on.
Benefits of Using Laser Engraving
Laser engraving machines consume zero inputs besides the power it takes to run. That means it only has low and predictable costs for manufacturers. Whereas, there are companies which use a chemical etching as a substitute for engraving. But, they need adequate wastewater treatment or a certified third-party company to dispose of the chemical water. Plus, each image requires a brand new stencil. Now, that won’t give you any cost benefits for your projects.
As the laser beam won’t be touching the material, there are lesser chances of causing damage. It is majorly relying on the heat to produce expected results. The only portion that laser will be targeting is the targeted spot. The surrounding area would be left untouched.
The aim of the engraving process is to remove a portion of the material. As laser systems offer so much control, a range of depths used by the machines ensures permanent markings. For example in the defense industry, it is important for the manufacturers to establish parts throughout the supply chain with unique identification numbers. These markings should be permanent even in extreme conditions or other environmental hazards.
It is efficient as it can easily switch between materials and a range of depths. It offers longer service life and with high-quality parts like Mitsubishi laser parts or trumpf laser parts, it will have lower maintenance costs compared to other traditional methods.
Supports a range of Materials
It is capable of working with different materials which include metal, ceramic, plastic, and glass. Most industries utilize more than one material in manufacturing. If you have a facility that deals with multiple materials then it could be a nifty solution.
Do you use laser engraving for your project? If yes, then share your experience with us in the comment section.