Here is a brief description of the laser engraving system. Read on to know more.
It has been twenty years now since laser was first used to make signage and similar products. Today, years later, sign makers and other professionals have found new and varied usage of laser technology to provide better products and services to their customers.
Its main advantage over other conventional methods is that it produces a zero contact mark which results in less wear and tear on the entire set of tools and the product involved. So, the chances of product deformation or damage are greatly reduced.
Other advantages are that it produces marks that are clean and permanent at a much faster rate when compared to conventional methods like product imprinting.
The tools used twenty years ago were large and cumbersome making it difficult to maintain. Also, there were many safety issues and the required gases had to be replenished continuously. As compared to that, the tools used today have evolved into simple machines that are simple and easy to operate.
The lasers are completely sealed and a constant source of gas is not required. The prices are reduced greatly that makes it available to a larger number of people. But the biggest leap is that, these days an interface with computers is available.
A parallel printer cable is used to connect the engraving system and the computer. A machine driver that is available with the engraving system is installed on the PC which is similar to the process of adding a printer to the computer. Applications like CorelDraw are used to generate graphics and the system works as per the specifications of the graphics.
There are a few disadvantages as well. The first and foremost is that the lasers cannot compete with routers when large areas of artwork are to be removed. Further, the laser beam also emits radiation that can be harmful and hence are bound under certain safety regulations. High voltages are also involved and the users need to take additional precautions.
Depending on your requirements, table top machines to machines that fill up the entire room are available. Most machines available today are capable of engraving all kinds of surfaces like plastic, wood, and metal.
Although second-hand machines are available in the market, it is always advised that you buy new machines as they come with a warranty and the vendor will help set it up for you. But, this again depends on your budget, requirement, and experience.
The table top models are cheaper and are ideal if you want to take up laser engraving as a hobby or earn money on a freelance basis. However, if you are a sign maker by profession then you will need to go in for bigger, high-end machines which offer top quality results.
Another deciding factor is the amount of power that you require. Smaller machines will work fine on glass and wood but will not be very helpful in cases of metal engraving.
Fortunately, mid-sized equipment come with features that are normally present in high-end, bigger machines, but come at a lesser price. Their engraving when compared to table top models is larger but it is still limited.
The top end machines can engrave almost on any surface and also have a high quality. Their graving area is large and, hence, multiple jobs can be completed simultaneously. Option for multiple power and variable optical lenses is also available. To sum it up, the versatility that these machines provide matches their price tags.
Wood Engraving was one of the first type of engravings performed by laser. It is more popularly known as 'wood burning', and is more of a hobby.
Using laser beams, words and pictures can be grated into glass. These make very attractive and personalized gifts.
Photo Engraving is a relatively new concept wherein high-resolution pictures can be engraved into marbles, granites, or wood using computers.
Metals were considered as the worst laser-engravable product which was ultimately resolved by using laser beams with shorter wavelengths.