There are plenty of different laser engravers on the market. If you’re looking for something that can engrave wood, plastic, marble, leather, paper, fabric, etc., then you’re looking to purchase a laser engraver. You can hook one up to your personal computer similar to that of a printer, then you’ll be etching your designs in no time.
How Laser Engraving Works
Laser engraving happens by implementing a beam of light as the etching tool. Designing with a laser is one of the fastest ways to customize any product. The most widespread laser cutting technology is that of the CO2 laser cutter or engraver. These lasers use a carbon dioxide formula that is manipulated electronically. During the laser engraving process, the surface of your chosen material is melted or vaporized by the high temperatureproduced from the beam the laser engraver makes. This process is known as ‘material removal’ and the absence of the detached substance becomes the engraving. You have the capability to choose various options through software included with your machine. This provided software helps reduce material waste, and allows quick changes to your chosen substance. Typically, laser machines require minimal maintenance and have tremendously high precision.
What Can I Laser Engrave?
When it comes to using a laser engraving machine, you typically have the capability to either use Vector or Bitmap files. Vector files consist of mathematical formulas that define lines and shapes, and are created by programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, AutoCAD, and Corel. Bitmap files are collections of pixels and appear in Adobe Photoshop, JPGs, and digital photos. Double checking what specified file is needed for your laser engraving machine is always a smart idea, but usually vector or bitmap files are capable of being engraved. As previously mentioned, materials like some metals, woods, plastic, marble, leather, paper, and fabric are all materials that can be laser engraved. More details here: http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Tips-and-Tricks-for-Laser-Engraving-and-Cutting/
Precautions for Laser Engraving Machines
Be careful and conscious when purchasing a laser machine. If you would like to test one out and see if its right for you, there are many options for leasing and renting laser machines. Know that laser machines operate by using a carbon dioxide laser that emits a laser that produces a wavelength of 10.6 microns. These lasers are potentially dangerous to human eyes because of the infrared radiation that they produce. This energy can easily be reflected off of materials while being cut or engraved. Also, smoke and gasses that are released while the engraver is in use are theoreticallyhazardous. Each user is responsible for their own safety while operating and reading your laser engraving machines manual is necessary.
With laser engraving being one of the most accurate processing methods in the engraving industry, it is no wonder why the success has skyrocketed in the last few decades. By producing detailed graphics with the capability to achieve a resolution of up to 1,000ppi, and the ease of use provided by laser engraving machines, it’s no wonder why laser engraving businesses are booming.