In the world of lasers..
there’s a different machine for engraving, etching, marking, and cutting a wide array of material types.. Engraving machines enable anyone from hobbyists and commercial manufacturers to industrial plants and Schools to design create custom artwork, badges, signs, tools and special equipment such as computer chips.
These machines are more commonly used for personalizing jewelry, trophies, and 3D crystal and engraved glass gifts. When you look at the variety of laser machine pricing out there, and the sheer volume of available materials that can be engraved, literally the sky is the limit. This refers to the pricing as well. Laser cutter prices if your looking at an Epilog Laser can be a considerable investment. That is not including ongoing maintenance costs. Be sure to factor in repairs and maintenance with an laser machinery.
There are more than a few options to consider when researching laser engraving reviews. I like to actually talk to the company tech support as well as the sales staff prior to buying a laser. Shopping for the best laser engraving machine takes some time but I would urge you to not to put too much emphasis on the lowest price.
“Cheap laser engravers can be found on eBay and once you find yourself trying to align the machine or understand the engraving software you’ll be thinking about how to get that “CHEAP CNC LASER WITH VERY GOOD PRICE” exported back to China.
Here’s an example: Ebay laser
Aside from the machines that can engrave precision fonts or graphics, understand that the top laser machines allow operators to conveniently adjust and align the mirrors, focal lenses, and z table for laser etching different types of materials, including wood, metal, glass, stone, plastic, to name a few. You can find some affordable laser engravers here: Boss Laser. I like this company due to their support and affordable laser engraver machine prices.
These machines are self sufficient and easy to maintain. They will typically work by way of a few added accessories such as fume and dust exhausting fans and water cooling units for keeping the laser tube cool.
Engraving less intricate objects or when you want to engrave in mass, it is usually done with a CNC router, where speed, automation and high quality is important. Here are some of the more common laser engraving equipment choices.
Metal Engraving Machinery
If you want to engrave sheet metal, or any other kind of metal, for artwork or signs, a metal engraver is the best type of machine to get. You can mark using Thermark or with enough power (usually more than 150W ) you can remove metal. For rapid production the machine normally has a clamp table for holding the sheet metal in place, and with some machines you can also get air fans or a cooling apparatus, as the metal can get very hot during the process as well as give off debris and dust.
Wood can be engraved by way of a special process called ablation whereby the wood is heated and burned darker in the various parts that the machine is set to. Usually wood is engraved for art purposes, and photographs are often copied into a software program and converted to a laser CNC engraving machine. Wood can also be engraved for signage purposes and various other miscellaneous objects like key rings. Most wood engraving machines come with dust collector trays due to the high speed of the machines and the resultant fragments that are created.
Glass is notorious for being a delicate material to engrave as it often requires the use of a rotary attachment. Cheap glass engraves best. Its not quiet as good as sandblasting but it sure is faster to see a finished product. Aside from the surface glass engraving, 3D items can be engraved using special software. Every glass engraving machine comes with a rotator arm or rotation tool so that instead of just flat glass objects like coasters, trays or ornaments being engraved, you can also engrave cylindrical items like wine and champagne glasses, which are very popular for 21st birthdays, bridal showers and other special occasions.
CNC Machine for Engraving
One of the most important things to consider when you are purchasing a laser engraving machine, is if you want to be able to program intricate designs into it or not. CNC of course stands for computer numerical control, and gives the machine the best control and automated assistance so that the most precise objects can be created effortless and flawlessly. The CNC machines can boast various different software programs and rely on different kinds of automation, but the best way to find out what works for you, is to test them and find the program that you like using the best. Make sure that it is easy to use and understand, simple to program, and gives you the most accurate results possible. If your looking for cheap imported machinery backed by support, I’ve found Full Spectrum Laser among others who can help minimize up front costs.
These are just some of the main laser engraving machine options out there, but you can also get engraving machines that are made for acrylic, leather, stones, or tiles so before you make a final decision, take a look at each type carefully and see if it pays to have a combination machine that engraves many different types of materials. Also compare prices, sizes and quality brand names to make sure that you get the best value for money, and find the best one that will work for your specific industry and requirements.
Below is a video of laser engraving images using CorelDRAW graphic software.