Laser Engraving Tips

Here are a few tips for better laser engraving.

1) Know your material. Some materials are not able to be engraved. Faux leather, for example. Some plastics are not engravable, such as anything with PVC in it. That is due to the very harmful “Off Gassing.” It will also destroy the laser parts over time.

2) Understand that a surface that does not change in distance to the laser head is needed. A round surface can be engraved if using the “Rotary Tool.” Some glasses, or materials have surfaces that are shaped. The laser needs a consistent focal length to operate properly. The focal length is very narrow. So, if the item changes shape, the focus changes and then will not engrave properly.

3) Always have a test piece of material, so the settings can be dialed in before engraving the original. The engraver uses a combination of A) power, B) speed, and C) PPI or pulses per inch to engrave or cut a product. Some testing may be required to get this combination correct.

4) Size of the item is also a limitation. Each laser system has a cutting bed size. Know what that is and adjust accordingly. The rotary tool for rounded shapes also has a size limit. It can also be effected by the items handle. A glass pitcher may be too big overall due to the handle. Depth of an item is another dimension to be aware of. Our laser engraver/cutter table has a limit of 7″ deep. Check with us for more specifics.

5) Laser engraving is priced by the cost of the base product plus engraving/cutting time, handling and shipping fees, and if you have us create the artwork. You can save time on the engraver depending upon how you create your artwork. Raster images take longer to run (typically) than Vector images. Raster images are for all engraving and Vector images are cutting images. Check out some of our videos to see the difference in action.