CNC Laser Engraving Services

Also known as laser etching, laser engraving is a non-contact technique in which service providers utilize high-powered laser beams to mark a material. As an extremely focused radiation of wavelength, laser beams emit heat energy that can alter the surface layers of most materials under its focal point and create marks, holes or patterns. Laser engraving services are useful for industries including architectural, medical, electronic, automotive, construction and transportation.

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Detailed Description for CNC Laser Engraving Services

Laser engraving is a non-contact technique that utilizes high-powered laser beams to mark a material. As an extremely focused radiation of wavelength, laser beams emit heat energy that can alter the surface layers of most materials under its focal point and create marks, holes or patterns.


Laser engraving services are useful for industries including architectural, medical, electronic, automotive, construction and transportation.

 There are two main types of laser engraving:


Vector engraving:- This follows the lines of the engraving pattern. Vector engraving is a method of marking or scoring a material surface. Like the laser cutting process the laser beam will follow the path of vector strokes without cutting all the way through. The width of the stroke is made at the kerf of the laser i.e approx 0.2mm. To engrave thicker strokes, we would need to use the raster engraving method or de-focus the laser slightly.

Raster engraving:- This is the technique in which the laser slowly advances while tracing back and forth across the material surface in a linear pattern. Laser engraving or laser etching is a method of marking where the laser head engraves by moving from left to right slowly down the material. It is also known as ‘raster engraving’. Think of it like a printer where instead of printing, it is actually taking some of your material away to mark the surface. It reacts to difficult classes of materials in different ways.


 Laser engraving is performed through machines that are made up of three main parts: a laser, a controller and a surface.


·The controller, which is typically a CNC computer that directs the laser according to the dimensions as well as the design input from the CAD computer program, emits the laser beam and controls its direction, intensity, speed and spread.

· Laser engraving is ideal for materials such as metals and alloys, silicon wafers, ceramics, graphite, polymers and glass.


· The focused beam of the laser vaporizes or fractures surface layers of materials that are positioned upon the surface. Assist gases like nitrogen or carbon dioxide are then used in conjunction with the laser to prepare newly cut surfaces for painting and corrosion resistance.


Since laser engraving is a non-contact process, it has certain advantages over mechanical engraving processes, including the elimination of tool wear and bit breakage that is a regular occurrence in direct-contact engraving. With the elimination of the usual wear and tear, laser engraving, which is also known at laser etching, proves a more cost-effective process as well. Since the process is computer controlled, laser engraving ensures that each unit will be produced in a completely uniform manner, without any fear of human error. Due to its detailed accuracy, design flexibility and permanence, laser engraving has become an industry standard in production lines and has largely replaced slower technologies such as hot stamping and hand etching. Laser engraving serves wide-ranging applications including direct laser imagining, promotional products, calibration, printing and sub surface laser engraving.

Laser engraving is the process of removing material from a surface using laser light, either through ablation or vaporisation. Suitable for many different fabric, leathers, rexin, acrylic etc.


Laser etching, is basically the same as above however usually refers to glass or lithographic plates


Laser marking, involves using laser light to change the surface of a substrate, either through burning or altering the chemical composition of the substrate. Usually used for part marking, inventory control etc. Generally only suitable for some plastics, however exceptions apply. Laser marking sometimes also refers to pre or post-processed items – eg oxidised brass.


Difference between Laser Marking, Laser Engraving & Laser Etching


The Laser Marking Process


Laser marking is what happens when the beam interacts with the surface of a material, slightly altering its properties or appearance.


It is achieved by moving a low-powered beam slowly across the material using a method called discoloration, which creates high-contrast marks without disrupting the material.

Laser heats the material, causing oxidation under the surface and turning the material black.

It applies low temperatures to metal to anneal the surface.

All of this is done while leaving the surface intact.

Laser marking differs from laser engraving and laser etching in a number of ways:


It is less common and not all places offer these services.

It is also referred to as laser coloration or laser dark marking, as well as charring for plastic materials and annealing for metals.

There are four common types of laser marking: annealing, carbon migration, foaming and coloration.

It’s popular in the medical device industry for stainless steel and titanium parts, but can be performed on other materials as well.

A laser marker is ideal for bar codes, UID codes, QR codes, logos and other identification needs.


The Laser Engraving Process


Laser engraving is a process where the laser beam physically removes the surface of the material to expose a cavity that reveals an image at eye level.


The laser creates high heat during the engraving process, which essentially causes the material to vaporize.

It’s a quick process, as the material is vaporized with each pulse.

This creates a cavity in the surface that is noticeable to the eye and touch.

To form deeper marks with the laser engraver, repeat with several passes.

Although engraving is a subsection of laser marking, it still differs in many ways:


There are three types of laser engraving: etching, deep laser engraving and laser ablation (the difference between the three is what the surface is and how much you remove).

This is the most common option for people who want something personalized or customized.

Not ideal for marking safety critical parts.

Maximum engraving depth is 0.020″ in metals but can go as deep as 0.125″ in materials such as graphite.

This is the fastest way to mark with a laser.

It’s great for parts expected to experience high wear.

It’s typically used to engrave serial numbers and logos, among other things.

You can engrave on almost any kind of metal, plastic, wood, leather and glass surface.

Another important comparison to make is how laser engraving compares to traditional engraving:


It can be done on a number of materials.

It is more legible than traditional engraving for small objects such as jewellery.

It provides you with more font options.

There is a smaller chance of product damage or deformation.

Laser engraving machines are faster than traditional methods.


The Laser Etching Process


Laser etching, which is a subset of laser engraving, occurs when the heat from the beam causes the surface of the material to melt.


The laser beam uses high heat to melt the surface of the material.

The melted material expands and causes a raised mark.

Unlike with engraving, the depth in etching is typically no more than 0.001”.

The differences between laser etching, marking and engraving include:


Since a laser etcher changes the surface finish of metals, it alters its reflectivity and enhances contrast.

It removes 0.001″ or less of the material.

It can be done on bare, anodized or plated metal surfaces, as well as polymers and ceramics.


Who Uses Lasers?

The laser is one of the most versatile modern inventions. Lasers are used in almost every industry, including:


Industrial & Tooling



Military & Defense


Oil & Gas and much more


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