Laser engraving – a modern way of displaying information on objects
To apply images on various surfaces humanity learned back in ancient times, as evidenced by rock art and archaeological finds. Primitive people performed their drawings by hand with the help of improvised objects, many later appeared mechanical devices that facilitated the engraving process. To obtain elegant items, the master spent a lot of time and energy, and the work required great attention. With the advent of laser technology, engraving has ceased to be time-consuming and time-consuming.
Laser engraving favorably differs from mechanical methods of displaying information by its simplicity and the ability to work with a wide range of materials. The laser beam can transfer complex images to the surface with high accuracy, including works of fine art, photographs.
Laser Engraving Technology
The process of laser engraving is as follows. The laser beam, reaching the surface of the material, heats it to a high temperature, causing burning or melting of its particles in this zone and their subsequent evaporation (blowing). As a result, depressions are obtained, which together form a pattern. Since the beam has a very narrow focus, the impact zone is also extremely small and interference in the material structure is negligible. This means that the possibility of material damage, the appearance of chips, cracks and other deformations is excluded. Depth of the relief depends on the radiation power, processing time and the number of beam passes along the line of the figure. The ability to change the characteristics of the laser makes it possible to perform engraving on materials of different density and strength.
Some features of engraved images depending on material properties
Laser engraving is possible on most materials – on metal, wooden, glass surfaces, on leather, acrylic, rubber, stone … It can be applied not only to flat blanks, but also to finished products having a certain volume. The color of the resulting image will depend on the properties of the material being processed. For example, when engraving a tree, as a result of burning the upper layer of the surface, the pattern gets darker. Given that the wood is sensitive to changes in the level of radiation power, when transferring raster images, it is possible to convey the shades of the image perfectly. Coloring in dark brown color due to thermal impact occurs when working with MDF and plywood. On anodized aluminum, the laser beam leaves a white mark, effectively contrasting with the dark color of the coating. The contrast image is obtained when engraving on the skin and two-color plastic.
Spectrum of laser engraving application
It is possible to distinguish two directions of laser engraving application – domestic and industrial. The first direction includes the personification and decoration of gifts, souvenirs, jewelry, awards, cups, the manufacture of signboards, tablets, design elements, branding of business accessories, drawing of corporate symbols, etc. Laser engraving is used to create designer ornaments, promotional products, volume letters of signs and signs, decoration of shop windows, and also for the manufacture of seals and stamps. In everyday life we are surrounded by a lot of products decorated with artfully executed engraving: caskets, cases, haberdashery, key rings, stands, kitchen utensils, number plates, instrument panels … Industrial engraving and marking mainly serve for identification of goods, indication of necessary information on the products or their packaging.
Advantages of the laser engraving method
Among the advantages of laser technology, the main is the durability and wear resistance of the finished image. The laser can be engraved on objects of various shapes, including volumetric ones. Images made by the beam are distinguished by high accuracy of drawing details, reflection of the smallest nuances of the picture. The speed of the work does not reduce the quality and clarity of the relief pattern or inscription. Due to the minimum time of the beam effect, the effect on the properties and structure of the material outside the cutting zone does not appear, and thus the production of defective products is excluded. The absence of mechanical impact on the surface allows you to work with fragile products. The use of computer technology to control and control laser engravers opens the possibility to perform a large number of completely identical patterns on various surfaces, which is a huge plus in the production of serial products.