CO2 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.
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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:
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.
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.
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.