What is Laser Marking?

Often I hear of business owners needing to customize, label, or permanently mark their product asking about laser technology.  Before looking for a laser marker for sale I’d recommend you understand a little bit about where to buy (and where not to) and what laser marking is.  As far as purchasing a fiber or co2 laser marker you don’t want to buy one or any type of laser on Ebay or Amazon.  Those vendors are just flipping product for a quick profit with little or no regard to quality or post sale support.  I’ve seen first hand and can attest to this fact.

With that said laser marking is a process of permanently etching a design onto a marking surface. This could be wood, metal, plastic, paper, and various other solid elements. With each type of laser marking procedure you will have laser marking machines and other laser marking equipment that will get the job done effectively..but I’ll tell from experience a lower cost CO2 laser will due to its wavelength will not permanently engrave or mark all materials well..especially metal. I’ll talk about what you need to mark metal later…

Looking at the process of laser marking, you can easily see how this differs from routing or engraving. With routing or cutting you will actually shape an object with the laser beam actually cutting away at a piece of metal, wood, plastic or other material. Engraving is similar to marking, but with engraving you will go a bit deeper with the cut. Engraving is normally used to personalize items like awards, badges and signs, however, with laser marking you can get a much finer burn into the material and actually get much more detail. What is laser marking for? Well you can get it done for family portraits or other types of artwork, where an image is converted into the laser program and carefully etched or marked into any kind of material. Otherwise you can also use it for creating commercial stationary, for hobbies, and marking computer chips and other tiny, delicate items.

Laser Marking Equipment

When it comes to laser marking equipment, you should only go for the best. This means you must shop around and find out more about the best brand names. Additionally, you must be sure to get all the information regarding add ons like dust collectors and rotation arms which are brilliant for marking cylindrical objects like wine glasses or champagne flutes for a special occasion.

Laser Marking Machines

With all the different kinds of laser marking machines out there, you should understand that each type is made for certain materials. Of course you can get those all inclusive machines that mark and engrave any kind of material, but sometimes it is better to have a specialized machine that performs at optimum level according to your precise requirements. For affordable laser marking machines, check online and make sure you look for used ones that are still in top condition, such as the ones that companies sell when they are upgrading.

Laser Etching

So why is laser etching used? Well, it is the best way of giving an item value or letting people know what it is. This is important when it comes to wood or metal and sometimes even porcelain, as there is no other way of permanently marking these types of materials. The procedure is fast and does not damage the item being marked at all.

Metal Laser Marking

Marking metal is usually one of the more popular types of etching, as you can do so much with metal items. Metal laser marking can be used for decor items, sensitive tools and equipment, like computer parts, and much more. Even pots and pans usually have company names or symbols marked on the bottom, and of course, jewelry is marked to indicate its quality. For instance silver and gold are marked to indicate their authenticity. Using a CO2 laser you can permanently mark metal using Thermark or Cermark. This is a substance that when introduced to the laser beam will bond with the metal. Otherwise etching into the metal will require fiber laser technology.

Laser Marking Plastic

Plastic is another material that is usually laser etched or laser marked. This gives the plastic many options with regards to uses. Measuring jugs and spoons are normally given symbols of grams or liters when laser marking plastic. Aside from this, names and brands are marked onto toys and plastic furniture, as well as plastic containers simply to indicate a type of plastic, whether it is microwavable, or to imprint an image or pattern onto it for aesthetic purposes.

Whatever you want to create or mark, there will be a top laser marking machine out there for you. If you’re a DIY type and just looking for a lower powered hobby laser check out http://www.hobbylasercutter.com.  How do you know which one to choose? Well, firstly you must research the brand name and the support behind it.  Don’t marginalize tech support.  You will need it.  Visit a few forums to determine the popularity of the machine.  Specifically, CNC Zone or SawMill Creek.  Both have regulars who have heard about everything from every laser company out there.  They’re in the industry and socialize with community of people who use these machines on a daily basis. They may talk about the compact desktop machines that hobbyists use, but if you do want to get a commercial, more expensive fiber marking machine, then get SOME of the advice on these forums.  Often you can  pick the brain of a dedicated and knowledgeable laser machine expert who’s willing to help.

Share Button
Read More