Laser engraving is fairly straightforward. It involves the use of a high-powered laser beam to remove part of the material by vaporizing it and creating a cavity that is visible to the eye and can be touched.
Nowadays laser engraving is widely-used across numerous industries to mark items made from various materials. And the reason it is so popular is because it brings several key benefits to the table:
Precision : Laser engraving machines are computer numerically controlled – making them able to deliver precise results throughout the engraving process. It does not require post-machining treatment and it also reduces the risk of material contamination, or that the material will be damaged at the engraving site.
No debris : Unlike conventional engraving, there is no debris leftover when laser engraving is used. The fact that there is no debris eliminates the need to clean up and dispose of the waste, and in most cases can also reduce pollution.
No consumables : In addition to not producing waste, laser engraving does not require consumables – aside from electricity. Other types of marking may require the use of chemicals or other products, but laser engraving does not.
No tool wear : One of the biggest disadvantages of conventional engraving is that the tools used to engrave materials will invariably be exposed to a lot of wear and will need to be replaced eventually. Laser engraving does not have that weakness because there is no direct contact when engraving.
Consistent : Due to the lack of tool wear, the results from laser engraving are more consistent. With conventional engraving there is the risk of the engraving quality being affected as tools wear out and become dull or damaged – but laser engraving does not have that problem.
Minimal noise pollution : Compared to the noise generated by conventional engraving when materials come into contact with engraving tools – laser engraving has minimal noise pollution. At most the engraving machine may generate some noise as it maneuvers the laser into place.
Can be used with various materials : Contrary to what you might think, laser engraving is incredibly versatile and can be used with various materials. Some of the types of materials that are commonly engraved using lasers include metals, glass, wood, stone, plastic, ceramics, marble, granite, leather, cardboard, paper, mirror, and more.
Flexible : In addition to being able to mark different types of materials, laser engraving can also handle materials of different thicknesses. Depending on the machine being used it may also be able to engrave surfaces that aren’t flat – making it a truly flexible solution to mark materials.
Durable : One of the biggest advantages of laser engraving is the fact that it is durable. The depth of the cavities it creates can be increased so that the marks it leaves will endure even if the material is exposed to wear and tear. It should be noted that laser engraving is far more durable than laser marking and laser etching too.
Fast : Generally speaking, laser engraving is one of the fastest ways to mark different materials. Not only is the speed of engraving fast, but the entire process can be completely automated and it won’t be slowed down due to the need to replace tools or add consumable materials.
As you can see laser engraving does offer a lot of advantages, especially compared to its more conventional alternatives. While it does have some disadvantages such as the fact that it may compromise the structure of materials – they are mostly situational.
To put it simply, laser engraving is precise, fast, durable, flexible, versatile, and cost-efficient – and that’s why it is so popular nowadays.