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What Is Laser Engraving? Working, Advantages, And Disadvantages



Laser Engraving is gaining immense popularity in the artistic and product market. Because of its faster customization ability, the demand for laser engraver has increased over the years.

Various laser engraving machines help in carving a precise, delicate, custom pattern into a range of materials such as metal, glass, fabric, wood, and plastic.

However, laser marking machines, like any other machine, come with their advantages and disadvantages. This article by ComMarker gives you a detailed insight into the working principle, its benefits, and its disadvantages, and it helps you understand better.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Laser engraving technology uses a strong, focused laser beam to precisely engrave designs and patterns into various materials. However, this process engraves really complex types of designs, patterns, images, and text into the surface of the material. This ability makes it quite popular among retailers and sellers.

Best laser engraver for small business not only benefits retailers in making products, but it also has become one of the most crucial parts of the manufacturing industry to carve details in electronic products.

Brief History Of Laser Engraving

Every new story’s beginning comes from the ending of something. Same as before laser engraving, people used manual engraving techniques. In manual engraving, people use a sharp tool to carve markings and details in the material.

For instance, in the beginning, years of life, cavemen used stones as an engraving tool. According to statistics, the most ancient manually engraved stones were almost 500 centuries ago.

However, the process of manual engraving started evolving with the rise of technology. Albert Einstein was the first person who gave the idea of inventing LASER in 1916. This idea got optimized in the year of the 1950s.

Theodore Maiman became the first person to invent the very first optical laser in the world. Golden Gould was then known to be the first person who successfully invented the laser light.

After that, in 1965, Western Electrics invented the first laser drilling machine. Until 1967, the laser machine was, in real terms, used for engraving purposes after the invention of the CO₂ laser.

The ultimate revolution in technology advanced the laser machines and invented specific machines for engraving, which included MOPA and UV laser markers.

What Is Laser Engraving? Working, Advantages, And Disadvantages 38

Working Principle Of Laser Engraving

Laser engraving works with a highly focused laser light precisely pointed on the surface of the material and removes the part of the material, and leaves deep marks. However, the process does involve quite a few steps. Some of them include:

● Laser Source

The laser engraving machine has a laser source that acts as a heart for it. This source emits a constant light beam. Laser engravers use the two most common kinds of laser, which include fiber lasers,UV lasers and CO₂ lasers.

Fiber laser engravers are considered best for engraving on materials like plastics and metals (metal laser engraver), while CO₂ lasers work best for acrylics, leather, and wood.

● Focusing Optics

It contains a highly focused optic that focuses and directs the beam of light set on the surface. This optic ensures a strong and precise energy emission.

● Material Interaction

The highly focused beam falls on the material. On its interaction, it heats the surface to such a point that it starts melting or vaporizing depending on the material’s nature. The material is removed in a controlled way which creates a design or pattern.

● Computer Control(lightburn software)

Best fiber laser engraver has a computer-controlled system. The system requires a digital design file as input. The software then translates the digital design and sends instructions to the laser. However, this controlled laser system gives a highly complex and precise design.

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  • Focused Energy Concentration: The basic phenomenon of laser engraving is focused energy concentration. The laser beam focuses on a certain area of the material.

When this happens, we can remove this certain part and engrave it as we want. Therefore energy concentration is important, and we need to regulate it at the same time to prevent any kind of damage.

  • Wavelength Selection for Material Interaction: It will be better to study the workpiece material before starting the laser engraving process. This is because it is important to understand that different laser sources produce different wavelengths of lasers. Problems can occur when we are not using the accurate wavelength for the materials.
  • Pulse Modulation and Power Control: Pulse modulation and control are important when it comes to laser engraving. The reason is that both these factors are important to bring out precision in the final product.

The intensity and concentration of the laser beam are also regulated by these factors. Due to this reason, we are able to produce quality and industrial-grade engraved products for different domains.

  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Precision: The combination of laser engraving and CNC machining is crucial for guaranteeing a hundred percent precision in the products. Both these methods prove to be highly effective for the seamless cloning of the products without even damaging their structure and quality at all.
  • Material Interaction Expertise: To perform laser engraving, the selection of material matters a lot. We need to understand that every material responds differently to the laser beam. Due to this reason, it is beneficial to understand the nature of the material before introducing a laser beam to it.
  • Air Assist and Exhaust Systems: Engraving produces fumes that are toxic in nature. Due to this reason, it is important to set up a proper ventilation system to vent these fumes out successfully. Also, the exhaust system will be beneficial to remove the dirt and debris during this process at the same time.
  • Preventive Maintenance and Calibration: It will be better to maintain the laser engraving tools in the long run to reduce the chances of failure and damage on all counts. These measures will also reduce the chances of replacements during important order production as well.
  • Effective Cooling Mechanisms: It is essential to rely on suitable cooling systems when we are aiming for laser engraving. The reason is that extremely hot temperatures due to laser engraving can melt down surrounding sensitive parts and can also damage the workpiece itself.
What Is Laser Engraving? Working, Advantages, And Disadvantages 39

Advantages Of A Laser Engraving Machine

● Precision

There is no doubt in saying that precision is considered one of the most beneficial qualities of laser engraving devices. They have the ability to engrave or etch highly complex and delicate patterns on a vast range of materials like glass, wood, metals, etc.

● Versatility

Laser engraving machines are also known for their versatility. These machines can handle a variety of materials and serve diverse purposes.This includes custom-made gifts, production branding, marketing, industrial markings, and much more.

● Efficiency

Laser engraving machines come with great precision and fast working ability, which makes them highly efficient. This quality allows it to be used for businesses in their mass production in faster time.

● Customization

Laser marking machine not only offers high precision and quality but also allows for customization. This allows users to make anything they want on any type of material. Moreover, this feature is considered best for businesses who are looking for customized business marketing products, retailers who are looking for custom-made gifts, and individuals who want aesthetic keepsakes.

● Contactless Process

Moreover, laser engraving does not require touching the object while engraving patterns. This, therefore, reduces the chances of product damage. Thus Enabling it to offer durable products.

Disadvantages Of A Laser Engraving Machine

● Cost

The primary drawback of professional-grade laser engraving machines is their high cost, making them inaccessible for many users and businesses. However, consumer-grade machines have become much more affordable, with some priced at just over $100.

● Maintenance

Generally speaking, CO2 laser engraving machines require maintenance, such as cleaning the laser optics and replacing old parts. In contrast, fiber laser machines require minimal upkeep, which is why they’ve become the mainstream choice for industrial applications.

● Safety

Another crucial disadvantage of these laser engraving devices is the maintenance of safety. It needs a high level of safety guidelines to make it work safely. Because of its highly focused and powerful laser, it can harm anyone badly.

● Material Limitation

Laser engraving machines are considered versatile. However, some material does not work well with it. For instance, some types of plastics and some reflective surface materials may cause challenges to etch precisely.

Application Of A Laser Engraver Machine

Personalized Gift

Laser engraving machines offer the most popular and highly in-demand use, personalized gifts. These laser machines fit perfectly well for creating personalized custom gifts to etch or engrave names, dates, places, images, etc. These gifts become quite aesthetic choices for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other events.

Industrial Marking

Laser engraving is not only used for personalization but also for industrial and electronic product markings. These devices become helpful in carving permanent numbers, marks, and logos on a vast range of materials like glass, plastic, and metal. Therefore, this allows them to use it for product identification and branding.

Artistic Engraving

Laser engravers also offer to create art by engraving complex designs and patterns on a vast range of materials like glass, wood, and fabric. This, therefore, allows designers and artists to use them for their art projects.

Medical Applications

Laser engraving devices also offer a vast range of medical use. These are highly used in the medical industry to engrave or etch medical instruments and devices. This allows manufacturers to create highly precise and accurate devices with proper measurements.


Laser engraves allow almost all types of users, industries, and manufacturers to use them for their purposes. They offer various advantages as compared to traditional engraving machines. These laser engraves provide efficiency, precision, flexibility, and versatility in their work.

These machines allow a wide range of materials to work on and consider relatively cheaper options than others. However, these laser engraves also come with drawbacks.

They require high maintenance, high price, and need more safety guidelines. Apart from these, laser engravers are still the best option for customizing engraving products that no other engraver can fulfill.

Are you looking for budget-friendly laser marking machines or fiber laser engravers? Look no further than ComMarker! We provide comprehensive engraving and marking solutions for start-ups or small factories. Contact us for more details.

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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