Laser Engraving Melbourne at Concept Laser Co.
Laser engraving is a subtractive method where a high powered laser beam is utilised to vaporise or melt a portion of the surface of the material. Depending on the exposure time, the colour of the material can change or completely evaporate, creating a cavity that is visible to the eye and touch. Laser engraving is usually used to personalise or customise a product or object. With our laser engraving machines at Concept Laser Co we are able to engrave almost any design onto a wide range of engraving materials including wood, plastic, acrylic, textiles, glass, metal and even food.
There are a couple of ways to engrave onto an object or product, these are called raster engraving, vector engraving and relief engraving.
Engraving is the standard process of laser engraving. In this instance, the graphic consists of a thick strokes or filled in shapes. In the design file engraving is specified as a filled in black colour, so that when the file is sent to the laser machine, the laser head moves horizontally back and forth and removes a portion of the surface of the material creating a cavity showing the design. Engraving is best used for large applications, like filled in shapes, numbers and letters, images and stamps. The depth of the cavity does depend on the material, but is usually around 0.5mm deep. This can be made deeper by doing multiple passes over the same area. To get the best results when engraving, shapes and strokes should be no thinner than 0.5mm thick.
While engraving is produced by filled in shapes, scoring is made of lines and curves and is sometimes referred to as vector engraving. Scoring is best used for engraving, shallow, thin lines that are around 0.1mm thick and is quicker than engraving as the laser head only follows the blue lines that are specified in the file.
It is possible to create a 3D effect with engraving, this process is called relief engraving. It is a deep engraving with differing heights created by grey shades in the design file. The varying shades of black, white and grey will be automatically read by our laser machine and can generate different heights in one pass, allowing the darkest black in the file to be the deepest engraving whereas the white areas in the file will be the highest points, and the varying grey shades will be at different heights in between. Relief engraving can be done on any material that has the same layer structure throughout, such as MDF, transparent and coloured acrylic, delrin or solid wood such as cherry, maple or walnut.
How to set up a files for laser engraving?
There are a couple of ways to use the laser machine, these methods are called Laser Cutting, Laser Engraving and Laser Marking. For an in depth guide of how the laser machine works and how to set up a file, please view or How to Order page.
What Materials Can We Handle?
With our combination of CO2 and Fibre lasers we are able to process a wide range of materials with different methods, see our table below for a quick overview. To learn more about different materials, view our materials page. If you have a material that isn’t on our list you would like to be laser cut, engraved or marked contact us to enquire!