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How to Engrave Stone with Fiber and Diode Lasers

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Transformation in the laser industry has led to the introduction of efficient tools that can tackle diverse engraving practices. The latest technology is facilitating devices that can easily etch permanent carvings on an array of materials.

With this, laser marking has reached a record high in the global market at a value of over USD 1800 million. However, not all lasers are compatible with carving on different elements. Some laser engraving machines allow engraving on delicate materials. Only some high-performing types can mark thicker materials, such as stone.

In this regard, fiber lasers and diode lasers are popular. As the POD industry has skyrocketed with the rise of social media and digital platforms, people opt for personalized items. Engraved stones are high in demand and sought by many individuals online.

This is an excellent route to gaining revenue from flexible manufacturing for SMEs and even big corporations to sell customized stone pieces. However, finding the right laser machine, laser type, and manufacturer plays a vital role. ComMarker is a leading provider in this regard with high-performing laser machines.

They contain both types, which are B4 Fiber Laser engraver and Q1 Diode Laser Engraver. Each has its specifications, working and comes at an affordable price than others in the market. Now, for an in-depth analysis of how fiber and diode lasers engrave stone and the various engraving techniques they use, we have created an article for your convenience below. Let’s get right into it!

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How to Engrave Stone with Fiber and Diode Lasers 64

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Understanding Fiber Lasers

In a fiber laser, an optical fiber composed of glass or silica is the active gain medium that amplifies light. This kind of laser operates on a solid-state base. High amplification and highly directional output are made possible by this fiber’s ability to capture light wavelengths via internal reflections.

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Working Principle

By injecting powerful light pulses into the fiber core, which then excites atoms within the doped glass. These excited atoms release energy when they come to their ground state. These causes stimulated emission. In this way, the initial light pulse is amplified as the number of photos increases. In this, when the energy level is optimum, the amplified light exits through one side of the fiber, creating a fiber laser. This concentrated beam of light then removes material from the surface of the desired element and creates the desired design.

Advantages of using fiber lasers for stone engraving

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  • Designs can be created with fine detail with minimal heat impact for minimum discoloration with a fiber laser on stone and perform micro engraving as well.  ComMarker’s B4 fiber laser engraving machine is ideal in this regard, as it engraves with a precision of 0.01mm.
  • There is no need for re-engraving the stone or doing touch-ups, as the first time engraved on the stone is permanent and does not fade.
  • Another disadvantage is that they consume less power and are faster than other laser types.

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Types of stones suitable for fiber laser engraving

Now let’s take a look at the stones that you can engrave easily with a fiber laser engraver, we have listed below.

  • Hard stones – granite, marble, basalt, gneiss.
  • Soft to Medium stones – sandstone, slate, limestone, quartzite
  • Other types – onyx, soapstone, travertine, gemstones.

Exploring Diode Lasers

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A solid-state laser known as a galvo diode laser amplifies light via a semiconductor junction inside a diode chip, which was designed for this purpose. Light of a certain wavelength is released whenever an electrical current flows across this junction.

Mechanics

The working of a diode laser is elaborated as this electricity pumps electrons in a semiconductor chip. Within this chip is the p-n junction, When the silicon is doped with specific impurities the different electrical charge regions are created. From the n-type region to the p-type region, the electrons are pushed. This results in them releasing photos when they fall to their ground state. This creates an amplified beam of light that comes out from one end and is highly precise. This helps engrave the surface of the material at the desired area.

Comparing diode lasers with fiber lasers

Whenever both of these lasers are discussed together for engraving stones, their different characteristics and strengths come into discussion. The Diode laser engraving on the stone process is entirely different from the one used by the fiber laser engraving machine. To engrave stones with a diode laser, the use of heat transfer paper comes into play.

Diode Laser Printing on Stone Using Heat Transfer Paper

To elaborate this procedure further, first, the design you want to print on the stone is downloaded on graphic design software. Within the software, the design is flipped to show its mirrored form for accurate design transfer. With the help of a laser printer, the design comes on the heat transfer paper. The stone to be printed on is cleaned.

Then face-down placement of heat transfer paper is done where the design needs to be. Then, the diode laser engraver’s lowest setting is used to apply heat on the back of the heat transfer paper, which activates its polymer. This helps transfer the design onto the stone through sublimation. Then the paper is peeled away to expose the design and its intricate details.

While fiber lasers can be engraved in varying depths according to the consumer’s requirement, they consume more energy. Another factor is that fiber lasers have high beam quality with minimal divergence, resulting in extremely precise engraving. In this regard, the ComMarker B4 fiber laser engraver takes the top spot with high efficiency and is perfect for a diverse range of stones.

Suitable stone types for diode laser engraving

Diode lasers can print on many types of stones using heat transfer paper, and all of them are described below.

  • Soft stones – sandstone, slate, limestone, soapstone, travertine.
  • Semi-hard stones – marble, onyx, quartzite.

Preparing for Stone Engraving

While stone engraving, you need to follow the appropriate steps to perform the process. These are as follows.

Selecting the right type of stone

First and foremost, consider the type of laser machine you have between a fiber laser engraving machine or a diode laser engraving machine, and match the hardness of the stone to it. Look for compatibility between the device and the stone. Granite can be engraved using a fiber laser engraver.

Look for any cracks or texture on the stone. Avoid any stones with texture and loo for a smooth finish. Observe the color of the stone and understand If the engraving will be prominent on it and look ideal with your design.

Cleaning and pre-treatment of stone surfaces

The next step is to remove any excess dirt, debris, or other elements from the stone. Use a mild soap and water and clean the stone with it. Let it dry completely before starting the engraving process. For deep cleaning and badly stained or oily surfaces, make a paste using clay or chalk and a cleaner. Cover the stain with plastic wrap and let soak overnight. Remove the mixture in the morning.

There are also some stones you have to acid etch before engraving, which are marble and limestone. This dilute phosphorus acid solution is used to remove dirt from the stones. Then use heat-resistant masking tape to protect the area not to being engraved. Run a test on spare stone to see the results.

Safety precautions and setup requirements

Upload an image of the design on the laser engraving machine. Adjust the power, speed, and frequency of the laser engraver that best suits the laser engraving design. Before starting the machine, make sure that the stone is securely placed in its place. Wear safety glasses and follow necessary laser safety protocols before doing any engraving.

Engraving Techniques with Fiber Lasers

After understanding all the details about the lasers. Let’s look at the engraving techniques used with fiber lasers for stone engraving.

Line Engraving

For fine details, texts, and logos, this type of engraving technique is used. For added dimension, you can use ComMarker B4 laser to create variations on the design.

Raster Engraving

Next is raster engraving, which is basically for the conversion of digital images in a series of dost engraved on the desired stone. This is also used to create the texture shown in the image as well.

Dot Matrix Engraving

For shaded areas and depth perception of abstract designs on stone, this technique is utilized. It created a textured effect by engraving a grid of dots on the stone.

3D Engraving

Fort multiple depth level creation, this engraving technique is used on stone. For 3D models to be displayed on stone, this is used. It also adds colors to the design.

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Finishing and Post-Engraving Processes

After the engraving process is done, clean the surface of the stone and remove any dust or debris that is created after engraving. Use a compressed air blower or vacuum to remove any excess debris from the process.

Stone-specific pigments can be applied to the stone to enhance its color. After that, use a stone sealant or wax to protect the stone. You can polish or sandblast the engraved area for a more fine and detailed look.

Applications and Creative Uses

For personalized home decor, and creating jewelry and accessories, stone engraving is used widely. Moreover, sculptures, abstract pieces, and calligraphy are mostly done using fiber laser engravers on stone.

Architectural pieces are created on different buildings with the use of this technique. Portraits with stunning details are created by artists through fiber or diode laser engravers easily. If we get into stone printing using diode laser, and heat transfer paper,  then this technique is used for crafting one-of-a-kind stoneware for use in interior design.

These include coasters, plaques, tiles, and wall art adorned with customized artwork, quotations, or patterns. Stone printing is a medium that artists and craftspeople use to make one-of-a-kind works of art, including sculptures, reliefs, and installations.

Conclusion

With digital media growing, many individuals seek personalized crafted stone engraved products. Whether it’s in jewelry, art, or decorations, fiber laser engraving machines can easily create detailed carvings on different stones. To print stones with detailed images and text, you can use heat transfer paper and use diode laser with it to create perme=annet marking on it. We hope this article provides all the information regarding fiber laser engraving machines and diode laser engraving machines for stone engraving effectively.

About David Lee

Hello, I'm David Lee, I'm a passionate and creative professional commercial Laser Engraver and marking specialist with a wealth of experience and a wide range of knowledge. Overthe past 10 years, I have focused on Laser Engraver and marking solutions for various commercial projects.l am sensitive to new technologies and design trends ,constantly seeking the best Laser Engraver and marking experience

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