This is the most common option for people who want something personalized or personalized. The laser machines available on the market are mainly differentiated by the laser source they use. We are mainly talking about CO2 lasers, fiber lasers and vanadate lasers. Each type of laser has its own advantages and disadvantages and is suitable for use on different materials.
If you are new to laser engraving and are preparing to start your first project, you may be wondering what type of laser engraving machine is best to use. There are many different types of laser engraving machines for metal, so we have decided to focus on the most common ones we use to get the best laser engraving and laser engraving results. In this short guide, we provide an overview of how lasers work, explain the key differences between the laser systems we commonly use to produce amazing laser engravings, and offer our best advice on which laser engraving machine you should choose for your next project. To begin our explanation of the different types of laser engraving machines for metal and how they produce different results, let's start with an overview of lasers.
Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A laser is produced by using electrical energy to stimulate electrons in special types of gases, crystals or certain types of glass. When electrons are stimulated, they predictably emit particles of light that have the same wavelength (that's what makes the beam visible and the reason why a laser beam stays the same color all the time). There are several different types of laser engraving machines available.
They differ in the way they stimulate the emission of light or in the different source of electrons they use (glass, gas or glass). This is how the different types compare when it comes to laser engraving machines. Developed in 1964, the carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) was one of the first types of gas lasers to be created. CO2 lasers are the highest power continuous wave lasers available today, producing a constant flow of infrared light whose wavelength bands are centered at 10.6 microns.
While the specific proportions vary depending on the laser machine and manufacturer, CO2 lasers generally contain a gas mixture of around 10-20% carbon dioxide, 10 to 20% nitrogen, a little hydrogen or xenon (carbon dioxide laser engraving machines are excellent for marking, engraving or engraving a variety of materials. They have relatively lower power compared to other types of laser engraving machines, allowing for compact, space-saving designs and supporting versatile artistic and industrial applications. Despite being less powerful than other types of laser engraving machines for metals, carbon dioxide laser engraving machines have effectively replaced traditional marking and engraving technologies such as dot blasting, inkjet and labeling. Gas lasers are less intense than other types of laser engraving machines and, as a result, are less suitable for laser engraving of metals than a glass or crystal laser.
Even so, CO2 lasers are suitable for engraving or engraving a variety of materials, including wood, acrylic, glass, paper, plastic, leather and stone. Fiber lasers are a high-tech invention compared to carbon dioxide-powered lasers that were first invented in the 1960s. Fiber lasers use glass as their main source of electrons for the production of laser beams, but not just any glass: optical fibers that live in a fiber laser machine are made of strands of glass that are slightly thicker than a human hair. Optical fiber has special properties that facilitate the transmission of light: they are immune to electromagnetic interference and exhibit a property called “total internal reflection”, which allows photons to travel in a straight line through the fiber optic wire without escaping.
Whether your next laser engraving product is artistic or industrial, choosing the best laser engraving machine that can meet your needs is the first step to success. Our laser engraving services are a great way to take advantage of this technology and avoid buying expensive laser engraving or engraving equipment. Designed to be a practical solution for marking plastics and glass, UV lasers can engrave a wide range of materials, from metals to paper. UV lasers require much less energy to produce clear marks and are better absorbed by virtually all materials compared to other laser wavelengths.
In addition, unlike other marking and engraving technologies, there are no long downtimes, which means that the process is usually extremely fast and simple. The marks produced by UV lasers are essentially tamper-proof, since they are below the surface of the material and the material does not come into direct contact with the laser marking device. This allows for clean operation and minimal contamination. Because of these capabilities, UV lasers are frequently used in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Fiber and UV lasers are the most cost-effective, but the initial initial cost is likely to be higher than that of CO2 and YAG. That said, you'll benefit from lower maintenance and increased uptime. Think carefully about how much you can afford right now, but also the costs of having machine downtime. Watch MECCO's SmartMark 20W fiber laser while marking on brass.
See how several settings create different marks, such as frost marks, dark marks, and engravings. On the other hand, the holes excavated with the engraving have better protection against abrasion than the raised marks formed with the engraving. In fact, the elevation of laser engraving can reach up to 80 microns, while the laser engraving depth can reach 500 microns. Only fiber lasers can be used for laser engraving.
This is because etching is a process used with metals, which react better to fiber lasers. In fact, the laser you need depends on the type of material you want to engrave, not the marking process. As you can see from the graph below, metals absorb fiber laser wavelength (1064 nm) more efficiently than CO2 laser (10.6 µm). For this reason, fiber laser (a type of solid-state laser) is a better choice for marking metals.
Other models have variations in which the laser is stationary and the workpiece moves, or the workpiece moves on the X axis and the laser moves on the Y axis, and vice versa. The MECCO LightWriter is ideal for laser engraving tools for identifying and managing tool cradles. CO2 laser marking machines exhibit significantly lower performances than fiber lasers when working with metals. On the other hand, if you want to mark pill bottles, a UV laser would be more appropriate, since it penetrates below the surface to leave a tamper-proof mark.
Of the lasers mentioned above, UVs are the most energy efficient and sustainable, but they are mainly used for marking and engraving under the surface of materials, often with low power. They are among the oldest types of engravers and markers, and they can also mark organic materials such as wood, ceramics such as tiles, stones and more. As the MOPA laser can adjust the pulse width to achieve different marking results, it will also be a good choice for plastic marking. A laser-engraved mark will remain legible throughout the life of the part with better readability than other direct part marking technologies.
In this technique, most models have the workpiece (surface) stationary and the laser optics move around it in the X and Y directions, drawing vectors on the surface. Lasers have three distinct properties that are used together to enable permanent marking on a wide variety of materials;. For example, when marking metals, it might be more cost-effective in the long term to work with fiber lasers than with CO2 lasers. A common master oscillator can seed several laser power amplifiers, which can provide good versatility in a production facility.
Commonly known as flashlamps or lamp-pumped lasers, YAG lasers use a lamp (bulb) as the pumping mechanism and a crystal as the gain medium. . .