A Guide To Laser Engraving Methods and Materials
Laser Engraving is a Subtractive Manufacturing method, that uses a laser beam to change the surface of an object. This process is mostly used to create images on the material, that may be seen at eye level.
There are dozens of materials just waiting to be laser engraved or laser cut with a laser engraving machine. What materials can be cut with a laser, and why is laser-engraving the best method?
Granite and Marble – When laser engraving on granite, the surface of the polished stone is removed by the laser beam resulting in high quality artwork. High resolution photos can be etched with a high power laser and produce stunning results.
Brick and Stone – High power laser beam turns the porous clay material of brick into hardened glass, resulting in a permanent and attractive marking that does not change the integrity of the brick. Fundraising bricks are a high profit opportunity.
Wood – All types of wood including pine, oak, mahogany, maple and other exotic hardwoods can be laser engraved and cut. As all wood has its own unique qualities, each will produce a different yet unique outcome.
Glass – When laser etching glass, the end result is often a look of quality and class. Laser etching glass or crystal leaves a frosty mark on the surface that stands out, yet is smooth to the touch.
Acrylic – Laser engraving the surface of acrylic produces a white contrast against the clear material. As acrylic engraves and cuts very easily, it’s a very popular among laser machine users.
Metal – Many bare metals can be engraved with lasers when a marking compound is used. Certain types of metals like aluminum, brass and chrome can be marked without the use of a metal marking compound.
Paper and Cardboard – Laser engraving paper and cardboard is becoming popular, because it’s a cheap material. Laser cut paper to create delicate stationary and invitations and create lightweight 3D products with cardboard.
Fabric – Laser engraving fabrics and textiles such as leather, denim and micro suede produces unique effects. Many types of fabric can also be easily cut, leaving you with a sealed, non-fraying edge of material.
Leather – Easy to both cut and engrave, leather is a high end material and can be used to create custom items as corporate gifts. With many colors of leather available, the possibilities are endless.