What is Laser engraving?

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Engraving is a term that is commonly used nowadays. In conventional methods, the engraving could be done only if the equipment is in direct contact with the surface that needs to be engraved. However, by the coming of Laser Engraving technology, it can now be done without the direct contact with the surface. So, the whole engraving process has become simpler now. Earlier, it was considered as a very complex process. In addition, this technique is cost effective. The working of the laser-engraving machine is controlled by the software that is installed inside it. The design to be engraved is stored in the computer memory and the software is used to recover this image and engrave it on the material. The different materials on which such engravings are done are wood, plastic, glass etc. Other applications of laser engraving are in the field of automation, laser marking and hot stamping systems. When the advantages of the laser-engraving machine is considered, the initial expensiveness of the machine is worth its pay. Let us now see what the advantages of laser engraving technology over the conventional engraving methods are.

Advantages

  • In earlier methods, a lot of dust was produced while engraving. However, the laser-engraving machine does not have this issue. However, you have to be careful to use it correctly.
  • As this type of engraving does not use any chemicals, no toxic residues of chemicals will be formed due to the engraving. Whereas, in the conventional method, the issue of this chemical residue was a big drawback of it.
  • Earlier machines worked by making a lot of noise, which can cause nuisance to the neighborhood. However, in laser engraving, very less noise is caused.
  • The conventional machines often need to replace the tip. However, in laser engraving, this issue is solved, as no replacement is required here. In addition, the service cost of the machine is very low compared to conventional machines.
  • Laser engraving can be used even on uneven surfaces. Earlier it used to be difficult as old machines needed direct contact with the surface and on uneven surfaces, the engravings may become staggered. In laser engraving, you just need to press a button and the software installed does the rest job for you.
  • The cost of operation of the laser-engraving machine is comparatively low. In addition, it can contribute highly to an increase in the productivity even in small-scale industries. Industries like pad printing and ultrasonic welding also make use of this technology nowadays.

Laser engravers

There are people who have specialized in engraving using laser. These specialists do laser engraving even on modern electronic gadgets like iPods. Electronic items are usually comparatively easy to engrave. However, more time is taken for unpacking and repacking the item. These engravers also do etching on other materials like wood and glass. The top of the laser-engraving machine usually is made removable. Basically, the laser engravers are classified into three main types. The first one is the X-Y table. Here, the laser beam moves around a stationery work piece. Thus, the laser beam moves in the X and Y directions to draw the required vector. The second type is an engraver with a cylindrical work piece. Therefore, the laser moves in the shape of a helix to draw the desired vector image. The third type of engravers has both the laser beam and the work piece standing stationary. Here the laser beam is made to travel through the surface of the work piece using certain mirrors called the galvo mirrors.

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