These machines are also known as laser cutters. You can also use this machine to cut or engrave the pictures. This machine is used by industrial manufacturers, home shops, small shops, and educational institutions. For Buying the best laser engraver: Emit is the best supplier: https://emitlaser.com/product-category/laser-engraver/
Working of laser engraving
Laser engraving is a powerful technique that is used to create beautiful artwork and is used in industrial applications. This is used for engraving designs on the surface of various products that are made of wood, plastic, metal, and even jewelry. There are different types of laser engravers used to engrave labels, designs, and other details on the products. The heat produced by the laser beam will vaporize the material and cut the surface besides removing the material. However, this process will leave some cavity on the material, which is not visible clearly, but you can felt by touch. The cavity depth would range from 0.02 to 0.125 on the soft materials.
This machine will use complicated parts to transfer the data in the file onto the item. This engraver comprises of three different parts. These include – laser, controller, and surface.
The laser will be like a sharp pencil using which the design is created on the object by focusing high power light onto the surface of the material. The controller controls the laser. It also controls the moving of the laser, which is like a pencil on the surface of the material. This will direct the laser power based on the design instructions. The power of the laser and movements are controlled using the data that is in the design file. The design gets engraved on the object when the design is converted into the vector map. The controller, as well as the laser, will read the vector map and will move the laser to imprint design on the object.
When the material is engraved, there is a black mark that is formed. You can also get other colors other than black. When the top layer is removed, you can see the next layer. You can adjust the depth of engraving by adjusting the intensity of the beam. This technique will assure you to give a consistent look and design.
Applications of laser engraving
The laser engraving process is used to customize the parts or products that are made using a wide variety of materials such as wood, glass acrylic, and leather. This machine is used to add a logo, image, batch number, and serial number to the parts. This engraving process can also produce different promotional products such as signs, pens, and displays. Many people personalize the products by printing their names on it. The most widely used application of laser engraver is in jewelry.
Steps to follow in the laser engraving process
Decide the material to engrave: The first and foremost step is to decide the material on which you would want to engrave. Laser engraving is a powerful technique. You can use stone, glass, plastic, non-coated metals, and so on to engrave. You can choose the design that you want to engrave on the product.
Design the image or text: The next step after deciding the design for the image or the text that you want to engrave on the surface of the product material, you need to design it. The designing of the laser printers is carried out using the software programs. However, before designing, you need to make sure that the laser engraving machine you are using is compatible with the files that are generated by the design software. Few laser engravers come with the software inbuilt in them while others to be compatible with the existing software like Illustrator or CAD. Once the design is final, you have to send it to the laser engraver using printer dialogue.
Place material and choose settings: You need to insert the materials you have selected into the laser engraving machine and select the settings. Based on the engraver, you can control the laser strength, speed, depth until which it is engraved, thickness of the line, and other factors. You need to test the material to find the right settings under which you can reap better results.
Press start: After placing the material in the laser engraving machine, you need to press start and see how the unique design you choose is getting printed on the material. Once done, you can remove the material carefully from the laser engraver.
Two types of engraving
Raster files that are in the PNG and JPG format are the widely used ones when you are going for bigger engravings such as images, stamps, and fillet letters, and so on. If you would like to engrave on the pictures that are made with a camera, you need to go for raster engraving. This is similar to the computer screen where you keep on adding points to the image to form a shape. This method is also known as area engraving. This is widely used for engraving on acrylic materials since it gives an impressive finish with different contrast. However, it is not recommended to use this type of engraving on ceramic, glass, and stone surfaces, since the results are not as expected.
Vector files that are in SVG and EPS format have lines. These are kept on the surface in sequential order. If the design has fine lines and curves, you can go for this method. This type of engraving is also known as line engraving or scoring. This method works wonders on the wood material as the burnt outline will create a distinct contrast on the material surface. This is not suitable to use on acrylic material as the outline gets melt.
Tips for maintaining a laser engraver
Few of the tips to maintain a laser engraver and boost its longevity include:
- Calibrate the laser engraver
- Keep smoke stains at bay by using the masking tape
- Dust the laser engraver often to remove discolorations and burnt debris, which otherwise cause engraving mistakes