Laser engraving is the simple or not-so-simple process of using lasers to engrave an object with a highly focused beam of light. There are two types of lasers – A fiber laser and a C02 laser. A fiber laser is used for engraving or etching metals, while a C02 laser is used on any porous surface. Each type of laser can be used to engrave a picture, logo, name, or any other design onto an object of your choice.
When the laser engraving starts, it uses that focused beam of light to burn your design into the surface or evaporate the coating. The two most straightforward examples that describe the difference are simple. If you use the laser to engrave into a piece of wood, the effect will be akin to an embossing look. If you use the laser on a Yeti type of tumbler, the laser “lasers away” the coating to reveal the stainless steel underneath that is now your design.
There isn’t anything that a laser cannot etch or engrave. The only caveat is that certain plastics produce a toxic fume when the laser beam hits the surface. The most common materials for laser engraving are:
- MDF – Medium Density Fiberboard
- POM – Thermoplastic
- Metal (All types)
Laser engraving also has a tremendous amount of benefits. It’s a very quick process. Once we have the file and design set, the lasering process only takes a few minutes, depending on the design complexity. Laser engraving is also incredibly precise and detail-oriented. A laser can engrave complex images on a very small surface.
One thing is crucial when we engrave personal objects that clients birng to our studio. Since every material is unique and every laser is unique, the correct laser settings are imperative to make your design perfect. If we are going to engrave an item that the consumer is providing, we ask that you provide us with a sample piece so we can adjust the laser settings accordingly.