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Laser engraving is the process of removing a portion of material to leave an engraved mark which is visible beneath. The engraving process is produced by the Laser beam removing material to create a mark, where the Laser acts like a chisel and blows away selected areas of the subject material. It is a subset process of laser marking where the object is actually marked beneath the surface and is the most common of all the laser marking applications. The depth of the engraving made will depend on the dwell time as well as the type of material being used. It can be used on a variety of materials, including ceramics, plastics and all forms of metal. As well as marking, the laser engraving process can also be compared with ablation and etching, which work in similar ways.
Laser engraving is especially popular in jewellery manufacture (particularly engraving of gold and silver) and can be used to create works of art; there are also many industrial uses (e.g. adding information onto parts and components). Engraving with lasers can be used for traditional marking purposes such as serial numbers and logos but has the advantage of depth which makes it popular for making stamps, dies and moulds. Laser engraving is extensively used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical and also in semi-conductor manufacturing.
Laser engraving is also heavily used for aesthetic personalisation of items such as plaques, tankards, trophies, medals and similar items. In addition, laser engraving is often used for the creation of barcodes and tracking labels, which has some similarities to marking processes.
There are many clear benefits of laser engraving over and above traditional methods, which have been used for centuries. Quality is of paramount importance when engraving, a fiber laser gives the engraver absolute precision over the depth of the engraving, meaning that shallow to deep engravings are possible via one laser machine.
The whole process is contactless, which is safer for the laser operative but also creates no “wear and tear” of surrounding materials. Talking of materials, the process can be applied to a wide variety, with metals (e.g. brass, aluminium, pewter, stainless steel, etc.) being very popular as well as ceramics (e.g. semi-conductors), glass (e.g. medical equipment), plastics and carbon compounds, etc.
Laser engraving is also a very environmentally friendly approach. Engraving with Fiber Lasers produces much less waste (as it is vapourised) and doesn’t require inks as well as tooling such as bit heads.
To read our detailed guide to the benefits of laser engraving, click here.
Engraving is a key feature of our redENERGY Fiber Lasers; capable of light to deep engraving our Lasers can be used to engrave all metals, stone, and industrial ceramics. More complex images created in graphics packages can be programmed to engrave via an SPI laser.
Process times will reduce, the clarity of the engraving will improve and there is greater control/precision on the depth of the engraving. Invest today in an SPI Fiber Laser and enjoy all of these engraving benefits which just aren’t possible through traditional engraving techniques and methods. As well as engraving, buying an SPI Laser will also enable a business to complete other laser-based tasks too, such as marking, cutting, drilling and much more!
We have produced some sample laser engraving frequently asked questions with answers click here, to access them. Scroll below for our full list of laser engraving application insights.
‘Applications Insights’ are detailed articles on specific applications. ‘Application Postcards’ are bite sized insights on specific applications, designed to be easily digested in a matter of minutes.
Laser engraving is a similar process to laser marking. Both use a fiber laser to produce a pattern, design, or another mark on the surface of an item, though there are subtle differences between them. We will explain these and then briefly explore... read more >
Fiber lasers deliver across a wide variety of applications and a frequently used one is engraving. This application is used in a variety of industries, we explore which industries benefit the most in this question and... read more >
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There are many ways that one can engrave materials, but laser engraving has developed to become the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective process on the market. Capable of delivering results with a much higher quality than many of its more... read more >
As its name may suggest, this process is the engraving of a material using a laser beam. The engraving of items isn’t a new concept, but the way that it has been achieved has changed dramatically in recent years.Now, lasers are the most... read more >
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Laser engraving is an efficient, safe and reliable process that is used in many industries around the world. It is especially prevalent in industries that are fast-paced, with many different parts needing to be processed quickly and efficiently. The... read more >
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Lasers have become an incredibly important part of the semiconductor industry. As the industry has grown, so too has its need for efficient, reliable and cost-effective processes to match demand. Lasers were the obvious solution for this, and they... read more >
Laser engraving has become a crucial process for many industries around the world, transforming manufacturing and production lines. But, it’s a process that bears many similarities to other types of laser processes, and one would be forgiven for... read more >
Laser engraving is one of many laser-based processes but is undoubtedly one of the most useful. It is used to leave a clear and visible engraving on a material.There are many reasons that one may use this process, perhaps for aesthetic reasons... read more >
While laser cutting and laser engraving are two separate laser processes, they have many similarities, and so a single cutting laser setup can also be used to laser engrave materials too.
In the article below we explore laser... read more >
Brass is a metal alloy of copper and zinc. The material properties of brass include; low melting point, high conductivity, and being highly malleable. These properties can vary depending on the specific alloy of brass being used. Brass alloys can... read more >
Thermal Barrier Coats (TBC's) are used in aero engineering and gas turbine manufacturing to extend the lifetime of components. TBC's are also becoming more commonly used in the automotive industry to reduce heat loss from engine exhaust systems.... read more >
Our redENERGY EP-Z Laser benefits from having longer duration pulses which can have significant benefits in engraving applications.For this application WF 39 which is a 500ns pulse (full width) was used to achieve 0.2mm depth on this logo in a... read more >
Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to mark a variety of etching textures and oxide colours on to Sterling Silver Jewellery. This mark is possible over a large focal range with a working distance of over 1mm.The butterfly... read more >
Engraving is the most common of all Laser marking applications, the engraving process is produced by the Laser beam removing material to create a mark, where the Laser acts like a chisel and blows away selected areas of the subject material.This... read more >
Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers are ideally suited for a range of engraving applications. For fine engraving the high beam quality of the 20W SM Laser gives finest control and beam quality. However, for applications where width of mark... read more >
The introduction of our redENERGY EP Laser series with its ability to deliver longer pulses has proved to be ideally suited to high quality deep engraving of stainless steel.Experimental studies have shown that material removal rates can be... read more >
Laser engraving and Laser milling have become widely established commercial activities and have been applied to many different types of metals. As a non contact process, Laser micro-machining offers many advantages over conventional mechanical... read more >
The image shown is a 3x3mm square area which has been processed to a depth of 1.5mm in 92 seconds, representing a removal rate of 9mm3/min.This high quality result has been achieved through the use of waveforms to maintain control of the... read more >
Our range of redENERGY Pulsed Fiber Lasers can be used to isolate thick bright metal plating on top of ceramic. This allows users to quickly and cleanly create islands of electrical isolation which can then be used as substrates for electronic... read more >
To commemorate our participation in the 2013 Munich Laser World of Photonics we produced a special pewter ‘tankard’ pendent.Pewter is a malleable metal alloy primarily made of tin with low levels of alloying elements. It has a very low... read more >