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Laser Engraving Tips and Tricks

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Laser Engraving Tips and Tricks

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Laser Engraving has changed dramatically over the past decade or so. When I began working in this trade, when you needed to have a laser at your factory or shop it’s a must to have THREE THINGS: Highly Trained Personnel, Persistence and very DEEP pockets.

Prior to now 10-years or so, computing power, stable-state lasers and deployment of systems has brought the prices down significantly, the required skill set to own and operate a system is very low and system maintenance has change into significantly simplified.

So, let’s get to the meat of this Article.

Laser MARKING: TIPS and TRICKS

1. First and Foremost, have the right Wavelength!

The Wavelength of the laser is critical to part marking.

ORGANICS:

For instance, As an instance your main enterprise is custom firearms. Most individuals start with a simple CO2 laser having a Wavelength of 10,600nM. These are low-price, low-barrier systems meant for engraving and marking the ORGANICS. Wood, Paper, Glass and Stone to name a few. A CO2 is a GREAT choice for engraving and marking the Wood Butt Stocks and Polymer Grips, but isn’t going to do a lot in the way of engraving the metal portions of the firearm.

METALS:

In order to effectively mark and engrave with any depth in metals, we need to change wavelength. Right here, the appropriate wavelength for MOST common metals is about 1uM. Why do I say about? Simply put, there’s a number of variations for the 1uM laser, commonly clumped collectively because the ubiquitous “YAG”. In truth, the YAG is the Nd:YAG with a central emission of 1,064nM. However then there’s the Nd:YVO4, the Nd:YLF and the mainstream FIBER laser with it’s proprietary glass-doped achieve medium. Each of these lasers are 1uM lasers, however have slightly completely different wavelengths from 1,064nM, 1,057nM, 1,070nM and such. Additionally, every has different pulse characteristics and that can play a major position in the proper selection.

2: Why does Lens Choice matter?

You’d be stunned at how many occasions I have to elucidate optics to people. It’s a primary and required step in choosing the right tool for the job and there’s a very core part everyone should understand. SPOT SIZE!

SPOT SIZE vs FOCAL LENGTH:

The Spot size of a laser is critical. Let me just repeat that. The Spot measurement of a laser is critical! Merely put, you need a certain quantity of energy to do work. Bear in mind as kids when a few of us would take a magnifying glass outside and burn things? Keep in mind how as we found focus, the wood would just start to smolder, and because the spot grew to become smaller and smaller close to the point of interest the wood would really start to char and burn? And as we went too shut, the spot would develop once more and the burning stopped? That may be a GREAT demonstration of fluence. Fluence is a time period which equates in the simplest understanding of Energy for a given Area.

In our instance above, the Sun’s energy was fixed (unless a cloud passed by). We adjusted the Energy/Unit of Space by focusing the lens to it’s tightest focus. If you happen to think a few pizza. If you get a Massive versus a Small pie, the diameter might double. As an example a Massive is 20″ diameter and a Small is 10″. But you aren’t getting twice as a lot, you truly get quite a bit more because if the diameter doubles, the AREA goes up by a factor of four!! This is the same for the laser. If we HALF the spot-dimension we INCREASE the energy density not by twice, but by a factor of four!!

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