Laser engraving is a popular choice for business signs, monuments and even materials that will be used in a production process, as this type of engraving allows for very detailed designs, and can also be used on a variety of materials. If you need a business sign made or a part fabricated for a production line, note a few questions you might have about laser engraving so you know if it's the best choice for your needs.
Does the laser cut materials?
Laser engraving is not the same as a laser used to cut through materials such as metal or wood, as laser engraving is meant to purposely preserve the surface of a material! The laser used for engraving will not be as strong as lasers used for cutting, so you don't need to worry about it actually slicing through the material to be engraved. On the other hand, if you want materials actually cut or trimmed, you may need to use a service other than laser engraving to get that done.
Will a laser damage delicate materials?
It's a common misconception that lasers are hot and will singe wood, melt plastic or cause other damage to materials. This is not the case, as lasers use a concentrated beam of light that engraves materials by pressure, not by heat. There is also no contact to the material with drills, saws, blades and other such tools, as is common with standard engraving, so there is no need to clamp down or fasten materials for them to be engraved with lasers. This also means less risk of the materials being damaged due to those clamps or fasteners, and less risk of shavings being produced during the engraving process.
Can you laser engrave materials on your own?
There are laser engraving kits you can buy to do some engraving on your own, but as with any tool, you want to be careful about assuming that you know how to manage this work without proper training and experience. Cutting materials with a laser may be easier and safer than cutting it with a drill, a saw and the like, but you can still make impressions that are too deep, or fail to follow a stencil properly. This can result in a sloppy cut and ruined materials. Rather than assuming you can engrave items yourself, it's good to leave this work to a professional, and especially if the engraving needs to be precise and exact, such as for materials used for production processes.