Over recent years, advances in the field of laser marking technology have accelerated like never before. The equipment needed to create and operate such machines has become vastly simpler, more affordable and easy to own and run than ever before, opening the door for limitless new engraving and marking possibilities. Unsurprisingly, the number of laser marking manufacturers and engraving services on the market has also exploded like never before, making it easier than ever for any business and organisations to have their parts, products and property marked in limitless ways.
There are several distinct advantages laser engraving and marking has over all conventional alternatives across the board. Along with being able to create the most incredibly intricate and complex marks imaginable, laser engraving is also uniquely accurate. Computer-controlled, high-end lasers are able to complete even the most intensive of jobs far faster than physically engraving processes, while the non-contact nature of the marking process reduces both the likelihood of the material being damaged and wear and tear to conventional cutting tools.
Well, the truth is that a quite epic array of materials can be marked for near limitless purposes, but in terms of the most common and popular types of materials – the following being perhaps the most common of all:
Laser marking is uniquely effective when it comes to creating and engraving custom metallic parts and products for a thousand and one purposes. From ID plates to signage to complex machine components and right through the knives, tools and even cutlery, thousands of businesses up and down the UK rely on laser marking to get the job done. Along with fulfilling essential practical purposes, laser engraving can also be used to add decorative touches to consumer products – check out the Apple on the back of your iPhone for a prime example of this.
There really isn’t a single metal that cannot be marked or decorated using laser marking technology. However, in order to make sure the result is as desired it is important to know whether the metal you plan to use is coated or uncoated. Uncoated materials like aluminium when marked with a CO2 laser will yield a result that’s so subtle it’s almost invisible, though this can of course be the desired result in many instances. By contrast, if the metal is coated – like an anodized metal for example – the laser engraving process will cause the colour of the metal beneath to show through. So as you can see, with so many different types of metal and lasers doing the rounds, it’s not quite as black-and-white as most may assume.
The use of laser marking and engraving to create plastic signage and promotions products is more common and popular today than it has ever been. Acrylic in particular tends to be a firm favourite among retailers and businesses of all kinds in need of bright, bold and colourful signage or marketing material. Laser cutting and marking allows for unlimited scope when it comes to creating crisp, clean and complex designs of flawless quality, along with those featuring three-dimensional details. And of course, the fact that most plastics like acrylic are extremely affordable also comes as an added bonus.
Standard glass engraving techniques are slowly but surely being replaced by state of the art laser marking and engraving. While sandblasted graphics may still be widely used and impressive where applied professionally, the ever-present risk of ‘blow-out’ is one that’s wholly eliminated when using the laser engraving technique. What’s more, laser engraving can be comparatively simple by way of operating the required machinery.
It’s a little-known fact among most that laser engraving also happens to be uniquely effective and capable when it comes to marking wood. As stated above, using lasers to mark wooden products as opposed to conventional ‘full-contact’ marking techniques allows for greater precision, crisper results and the production/reproduction of eye-popping graphics.
Fabrics and Leather
Last but not least, it’s even possible to use high-end laser engraving and marking technology to cut and mark various fabrics, including leather. From simple decorative touches to personalisation to branding and really anything else across the board, anything your imagination can dream up can be authentically replicated using cutting-edge laser marking technology.