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Pros and Cons of Etching with a Laser

Pros and Cons of Etching with a Laser

Laser etching and or engraving has become an increasingly popular method for detailed processing across a wide variety of materials.  These laser laser etched image on woodmachines are often affordable and range in price from $3,000 – $10,000 depending on the size and power options selected.  Cheap etching machines on Amazon and Ebay are more imported novelty items that lack serious safety features, a user friendly software interface, or quality components.   You certainly get what you pay for in such a case.  Laser etching machines and are used mostly by companies or DIY types who enjoy working in and around the manufacturing industry.  However, etching machinery is also being found in schools, universities and your neighbors garage.

The technology is relatively new and many folks don’t quiet understand what a laser etcher can do or how it works.   If you look at a CNC machine or a common printer a laser machine operates similarly.  Push the ‘print’ button and watch it go to work.

Sizes range from units that can fit easily on top of a small coffee table to industrial sized laser engravers as big as 5×10′ working areas.

Laser etchers enable to people create awe inspiring awards, gifts or medals, just to name a few. However, laser engraving is usually used to convert a 2-D photo into an amazing 3-D design that fits inside the glass. This image is than etched by a high quality laser into a clear piece of crystal in order to create a masterpiece.

The process is pretty simple. All the laser engraving company (I rely on this laser etching company for support by the way: https://www.bosslaser.com/) requests from you is a high definition photo (preferably a photo with a resolution higher than 1260 x 800). The next step is to laser the photo into a crystal using modern tools and machines. A photo crystal is made by a special laser that concentrates all its beams of light to a certain point at a time. After the laser finishes the background, it starts to focus its beam on several three-dimensional coordinates. One point at a time, the masterpiece takes shape and is becoming a gift or a memory that will last forever in your house. Because laser beans are non-invasive, no blemished or marks are left on the crystal’s surface. You can have the peace of mind this process is safe and will create a photo crystal that will last long in time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser

You can also engrave one of your favorite photos or images into a 2D or 3D photo crystal. After the photo is converted into a high-resolution, ready-to-laser file format, the contrast and the brightness will be optimized in order to ensure the etching is perfect. This is an impressive look and a popular gift idea.

Using sophisticated laser technology, your photo is now eternalized within a long lasting high quality crystal. Each type of laser works at a specific frequency wavelength.  Most laser engravers operate at 10.6 nanometers. So you should work with a company should you choose to outsource the project – who understands and can demonstrate the best frequency and precision engraving for glass, stone, wood metal, our the specific material you choose. The truth is that almost all materials can benefit from laser engraving, but in opinion the frosted look glass offers is the most impressive.  You should review the laser etching company before buying by reading all their online reviews.  Don’t just read the reviews on their own website as those are easy to manipulate or even makeup!  Check out this laser company reviews as an example: https://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/lasers/boss-laser-in-sanford-fl-90314519.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_engraving

Best Benefits of using a CO2 Laser Etcher

etched woodCO2 Laser etching is the complex process of using a charged metal or glass laser tube to engrave or mark the surface of any number of material surface including but not limited to glass, crystal, acrylic, stone, alloys, raw metal or wood.

Although most metals are etched or engraved with a fiber laser that has a much smaller or focused spot size.  Laser engraving is considered one the best etching methods available today because it is extremely precise, low maintenance and can be used for a wide variety of marketable applications.

Most people are amazed to see a precision laser etched design.  Most of the time the finished product will sell it self allowing sellers to get top prices for work that may have taken about 30 minutes at the most.

The above image source can be found here:

 

Engraving involves producing beautiful pictures and words on an object, most than usual on glass, by leaving behind a permanent mark. The good news is that the laser marking technology has greatly evolved. Some of the most important benefits of laser etching on glass are:

– Speed

First and foremost, laser engraving is completed extremely fast. All you need to do is to send an image in almost any file format to your machine or even to a  laser engraving business.  The end result is amazing 3-D or 2-D photo etched on glass, wood, acrylic, stone, and even crystal.  The actual engraving time will depend on the complexity of the image.  An engraving service provider will usually take 2 to 4 business days and the price for the engraving can be expensive.   While traditional hand engraving methods are quite time consuming, laser etching is relatively fast and reliable.

– Cost

Another groundbreaking benefit of this method is the reduced cost. Laser engraver prices have dropped to the point that most are beginning to move back up.  Some cheap engravers can be found on ebay but forums are filled with unsuspecting buyers who are stuck with a Chinese machine that doesn’t work.   If you read reviews of laser machines you’ll find its best to purchase through a U.S. based company with good technical support.

You can view an example of laser etching glass almost anywhere, which means that these services have become extremely common and there is a balance between the supply and demand.

– Accuracy

Lastly, a laser engraves with extreme precision.    The wavelength of CO2 laser is 10 micron (0.01 mm), therefore this is the smallest diameter of the circle it can be focused to Details are way more accurate than other etching machinery such as cnc routers.  Routers are limited to corners due to the size of the bit whereas laser spot size is much smaller and can etch fonts as small as 3 points.  You can find laser cutters and reviews of Boss Laser here.  However, the benefit of a router is it can process thicker materials even if not quiet as accurate as a co2 laser cutter.  Your choice usually comes down to making sacrifices opting for the tool that accomplishes the most of what your application demands.