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Quick Guide To Laser Engraving

Nov 29, 2007
Lasers can engrave on just about any material. The most popular materials in the engraving fields are coated metals, wood, acrylic, glass, leather, marble, plastic, and host of synthetic materials made specifically for lasers. You can think of a laser as a light source similar to a light bulb - a light bulb will emit energy out all around it.

Laser marking is also referred to as laser etching. Unlike conventional etching, laser etching needs no masks or chemicals. Some people just call it laser etching and others call it laser engraving but basically the technique uses a computer-controlled laser beam to mark a surface. It didn't take long for the engraving industry to notice the new lasers and soon lasers were being used for a wide variety of industrial applications including welding, heat-treating, etching and engraving.

And almost all materials can be laser engraved/laser marked. The light source name - LASER, is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

You can also cut metal with lasers. The laser metal cutting option can be added to some models of the laser cutting machines. The ability to laser cut complex profiles can eliminate the need for additional operations, making laser cutting very economical. Lasers work well for cutting acrylic (Plexiglas), PETG, thin polycarbonates (Mylar), styrene expanded PVC (Sintra), wood, paper and fabric.

Laser etching can be done on many other materials including slate, granite, stainless steel, leather, arborite, glass, mirrors, and premium hard woods. And laser cutting offers a superior cut-edge quality with parallel sides and no burrs.

Industries that use laser marking include the promotional, engineering and medical industries. It's a process in which material is indelibly marked at some very fast speeds (milliseconds per character). Some of the items that C02 lasers and C02 laser systems can be used for in terms of marking and etching glass or quartz are float glass plants, manufacturing of glass doors and windows, permanent serial numbering, ANSI safety information, customer logos, decorative or specialty glass manufacturing, manufacturing data related to plant, the production date and line, and/or part numbers.

Laser marking of glass by C02 lasers on the fly or while moving can be an excellent addition for many industrial environments and the applications for glass marking. Because no inks are used in the marking, the services are both permanent and the process is kind to the environment. You can mark easily in batches from 1 to 10,000.

There are no consumables involved so the operating costs are minimal, and the laser system, if properly exhausted, runs very clean, so that costly cleanup or by-product disposal is not needed. Some of the many laser engraving products include wedding giveaways, nametags, table nameplates, trophy engraving and laser wood engraving.

Today laser engraving can be used for most of the jobs currently being carried out by the conventional industrial engravers. It's a viable and versatile technology that is being used by many engravers to improve productivity, add more services for their customers and increase their profits. Many companies can be found online that make laser engraving machines, laser marking systems and laser etching equipment.
About the Author
For more information on laser engraving and laser engraving machines, laser marking, laser etching and laser cutting go to http://www.EngravingLaser.net for tips, help, facts, free resources, including information on all types of laser engraving
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