Laser engraving represents a division of laser marking. It is the use of lasers to etch markings on various objects. The machines are controlled using a computer and work independently once a design is fed into it. The machines cut back on a significant amount of workload and allow engravers to create accurate designs.
Laser engraving causes less wear and tear of your tools since it is a non-contact procedure. There are different machines you will come across when looking to buy a laser engraver. Below are the typical laser engraving machines you’ll find on the market:
Carbon Dioxide Laser Engravers
These engravers are the most familiar and lowest-priced options. They use a mixture of carbon dioxide gas stimulated electronically with wavelengths of about 10.6 micrometers to engrave surfaces.
Carbon dioxide laser engravers are used typically on a broad range of non-metallic materials including plastics, stone, glass, textiles, and wood. They have relatively high efficiency and excellent beam quality.
Fiber Laser Engravers
These machines produce a laser beam using seed laser and amplify it on glass fibers. Fiber laser engravers have wavelengths of 1.064 micrometers, hence producing exceptionally small focal diameters with high intensity. These machines are often used for engraving coated metal, pure metal, and plastic. They usually are maintenance-free and last over 25,000 laser hours.
Crystal (Vanadate) Laser Engravers
Crystal lasers, similar to fiber lasers, are solid-state lasers. They also have a 1064-micrometer wavelength and are suited for engraving plastic, metal and, to some extent, ceramic. Unlike fiber lasers, however, crystal lasers have parts that rapidly wear away. They should be changed after about 8,000-15,000 laser hours.
Green wavelength laser engravers are fiber-coupled solid-state lasers. They have exceptional laser stability, long focal tolerance, high beam quality, and excellent engraving speed. They are preferred for industrial engraving environments where vibration, dust, and shock are a concern due to the robust optical and mechanical design.