Laser engraving, which is actually a subset of laser marking, is the practice of using lasers to engrave an object. Laser marking, on the contrary, is a broader category of techniques to leave marks on an object, that also includes color change because of chemical/molecular alteration, charring, foaming, melting, ablation, and more. The process doesn’t involve the usage of inks, nor will it involve tool bits which contact the engraving surface and wear out, giving it a benefit over alternative engraving or marking technologies where inks or bit heads have to be replaced regularly.
The impact of Laser Marking has been more pronounced for specially designed “laserable” materials as well as for some paints. These include laser-sensitive polymers and novel metal alloys.
The phrase laser marking is additionally used as being a generic term covering a wide spectrum of surfacing techniques including printing, hot-branding and laser bonding. The machines for laser engraving and laser marking are similar, so that the two terms are occasionally confused by those without knowledge or expertise in the practice.
A laser engraving machine can be looked at as three main parts: a laser, a controller, along with a surface. The laser is sort of a pencil – the beam emitted from it allows the controller to trace patterns to the surface. The controller direction, intensity, speed of motion, and spread of the laser beam geared towards the outer lining. The outer lining is picked to match exactly what the laser can act on.
You will find three main genres of engraving machines: The most frequent is the X-Y table where, usually, the workpiece (surface) is stationary and the laser optics move around in X and Y directions, directing the laser beam to attract vectors. Sometimes the laser is stationary and the workpiece moves. Sometimes the workpiece moves within the Y axis and also the laser within the X axis. Another genre is perfect for cylindrical workpieces (or flat workpieces mounted around a cylinder) in which the laser effectively traverses a fine helix as well as on/off laser pulsing produces the required image over a raster basis. Inside the third method, the laser and workpiece are stationary and galvo mirrors move the laser beam within the workpiece surface. Laser engravers by using this technology can be employed in either raster or vector mode.
The stage where the laser (the terms “laser” and “laser beam” can be utilized interchangeably) touches the outer lining should be on the focal plane in the laser’s optical system, and is also usually synonymous with its centerpiece. This aspect is usually small, perhaps under a fraction of a millimeter (depending on the optical wavelength). Merely the area inside this centerpiece is quite a bit affected if the laser beam passes on the surface. The power delivered by the laser changes the top of the material under the point of interest. It could heat up the outer lining and subsequently vaporize the fabric, or perhaps the material may fracture (referred to as “glassing” or “glassing up”) and flake off the surface. Cutting through the paint of any metal part is generally how material is Laser Cutting.
If the surface material is vaporized during laser engraving, ventilation with the use of blowers or even a vacuum pump are almost always necessary to remove the noxious fumes and smoke as a result of this procedure, and for removal of debris on the surface to permit the laser to continue engraving.
A laser can remove material very efficiently as the laser beam can be created to deliver energy for the surface in a manner which converts a higher percentage of the light energy into heat. The beam is extremely focused and collimated – generally in most non-reflective materials like wood, plastics and enamel surfaces, the conversion of light energy to heat is a lot more than x% efficient. However, due to this efficiency, the equipment used in laser engraving may warm up rather quickly. Elaborate cooling systems are required for the laser. Alternatively, the laser beam might be pulsed to decrease the amount of excessive heating.
Different patterns can be engraved by programming the controller to traverse a specific path for that laser beam with time. The trace of the laser beam is carefully regulated to accomplish a regular removal depth of material. For instance, criss-crossed paths are avoided to ensure each etched surface is subjected to the laser only once, so the same amount of material is taken off. The pace where the beam moves across the material can also be considered in creating engraving patterns. Changing the intensity and spread from the beam allows more flexibility inside the design. For example, by changing the proportion of time (called “duty-cycle”) the laser is switched on during each pulse, the ability delivered to the engraving surface may be controlled appropriately for that material.
Since the positioning of the laser is known exactly by the controller, it is far from essential to add barriers for the surface to avoid the laser from deviating through the prescribed engraving pattern. Consequently, no resistive mask is necessary in laser engraving. This is primarily why this technique differs from older engraving methods.
A great illustration of where laser engraving technology has been adopted in to the industry norm is the production line. In this setup, the laser beam is directed towards a rotating or vibrating mirror. The mirror moves in a manner which might trace out numbers and letters to the surface being marked. This is particularly useful for printing dates, expiry codes, and lot numbering of merchandise traveling along a production line. Laser marking allows materials made from plastic and glass to be marked “on the move”. The location where marking takes place is called a “marking laser station”, an entity often seen in packaging and bottling plants. Older, slower technologies such as hot stamping and pad printing have largely been phased out and substituted for laser engraving.
For more precise and visually decorative engravings, a laser table can be used. A laser table (or “X-Y table”) is actually a sophisticated setup of equipment utilized to guide the laser beam more precisely. The laser is generally fixed permanently to the side from the table and emits light towards a set of movable mirrors to ensure that every point of the table surface can be swept through the laser. At the point of engraving, the laser beam is focused by way of a lens at the engraving surface, allowing very precise and intricate patterns pmupgg be traced out.
A normal setup of any laser table requires the 3d Mini Fiber Laser Marking Machine parallel to a single axis of the table targeted at a mirror mounted on the end of an adjustable rail. The beam reflects off the mirror angled at 45 degrees in order that the laser travels a path exactly along the length of the rail. This beam will then be reflected by another mirror mounted to your movable trolley which directs the beam perpendicular to the original axis. Within this scheme, two levels of freedom (one vertical, then one horizontal) for etching could be represented.
Jinan MORN Technology Co., Ltd. (MORN GROUP) is a leading laser machine manufacturers and exporter in China. We are specialized in fiber laser cutting machine and fiber laser marking machine with 10 years experience.
Jinan MORN Technology CO., Ltd.
Address:13F, Building 5, Qisheng Mansion,Xinluo Street,High-Tech Zone, Jinan, China, 250101
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: (+86) 531-5557-2337