Laser Engraving Tips and Tricks

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

Prior to now 10-years or so, computing power, solid-state lasers and deployment of systems has introduced the costs down significantly, the required skill set to own and operate a system is very low and system maintenance has turn out to be seriously 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 example, As an instance your primary business is customized firearms. Most people start with a easy CO2 laser having a Wavelength of 10,600nM. These are low-cost, low-barrier systems meant for engraving and marking the ORGANICS. Wood, Paper, Glass and Stone to name a few. A CO2 is a GREAT alternative for engraving and marking the Wood Butt Stocks and Polymer Grips, however is not going to do a lot within the way of engraving the metal parts of the firearm.

METALS:

In an effort to successfully 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 is a number of variations for the 1uM laser, commonly clumped collectively as the ubiquitous “YAG”. In fact, 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 acquire medium. Every of those lasers are 1uM lasers, but have slightly totally different wavelengths from 1,064nM, 1,057nM, 1,070nM and such. Additionally, each has different pulse traits and that may play a serious function within the proper selection.

2: Why does Lens Selection matter?

You’ll be shocked at what number of occasions I have to explain optics to people. It’s a primary and required step in choosing the right device for the job and there is a very core part everyone ought to understand. SPOT SIZE!

SPOT SIZE vs FOCAL LENGTH:

The Spot measurement of a laser is critical. Let me just repeat that. The Spot measurement of a laser is critical! Merely put, you need a certain amount of energy to do work. Bear in mind as kids when a few of us would take a magnifying glass outside and burn things? Remember how as we discovered focus, the wood would just start to smolder, and as the spot turned smaller and smaller close to the focal point the wood would really start to char and burn? And as we went too shut, the spot would grow once more and the burning stopped? That may be a GREAT demonstration of fluence. Fluence is a term 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. In case you think a couple of pizza. In the event you get a Massive versus a Small pie, the diameter could double. For example a Massive is 20″ diameter and a Small is 10″. However you don’t get twice as much, you really get quite a bit more because if the diameter doubles, the AREA goes up by a factor of 4!! This is similar for the laser. If we HALF the spot-size we INCREASE the energy density not by twice, but by a factor of 4!!

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