Laser engraving is one of several different secondary finishing operations in manufacturing that can be used to put the “finishing” touches on parts, components, and various products. As its name implies, laser engraving uses high-powered lasers to carefully remove material from the material to create the desired result.
Laser engraving can be used on a variety of materials, including plastics, rubber, ceramics, wood, and metals. The finishing operation leaves engraved text and images that are clear and precise in the material.
Due to the laser’s precision, the amount of material removed can be varied so that the depth of the engraving can differ based on the desired results. For instance, you could laser engrave text at one depth and a corporate logo or image at another depth.
How Is Laser Engraving Different from Laser Marking and Laser Etching?
With laser marking, a laser is also used, but the image or text is left on the surface of the material. The laser does not “cut” into the material and remove it as it does with laser engraving.
With laser etching, the laser is used to heat up the surface material to create the desired image or text. The heat generated by the laser melts the material at the surface. Once it cools, it is typically raised from the surface without “cutting” into the material.
Laser Engraving Processes
Laser engraving is performed using a laser-engraving machine. Here are several steps involved in the process, as follows:
Step 1: Determine what text and/or images you want to be engraved into the material. You need to decide exactly what you want to have engraved and how it should look. Frequently, the text and image are created using an appropriate software app.
Step 2: Program the laser-engraving machine. Once you have created your text and image design, you need to transfer it to the laser-engraving machine. You can do this by uploading the file you created. Some machines also allow you to create your text and design image directly on the machine through its own software app.
Step 3: Load the material to be engraved into the machine. Once you are ready to start engraving, you need to load the material into the machine. You may also need to specify various settings to use—like the depth of the engraving.
Step 4: Start up the machine and engrave the material. After making appropriate setting selections and verifying the text and image design has been loaded, it is time for the real action to take place. Once the machine starts, you simply watch while it engraves your design into the material.
Step 5: Confirm the results. Before running large batches of materials through the laser-engraving machine, it is highly recommended to verify the material that was just engraved meets your standards. If you are satisfied with the results, then you can start batch-processing. If not, make adjustments as needed, and repeat this step until you are satisfied.
Laser engraving offers several benefits when you want to add text and images to your materials for finished goods, including:
- Long-Lasting Results
- High-Speed Process
- Precision Cutting for Superior Quality
To learn more about laser engraving secondary finishing operations in manufacturing, please feel free to contact Laszeray Technology, LLC at 440-582-8430 today! We are a professional laser engraver to deliver the results you demand.