What is laser engraving?
Laser engraving is an accurate way of cutting into an object.
Based on the speed of the machine and the intensity of the laser you can choose to engrave an object so gently that you can barely see the image, or so powerfully that you can cut right through it.
Here is an iPad being engraved with the old WA Engraving logo.
You'll notice it takes over 6 minutes to engrave this rather small image. That's because of the resolution (detail) of the engraving which in this case is 1000dpi. If we set the resolution to 333dpi the engraving would take roughly one third of the time to engrave, however the image would not be as detailed and therefore not look as good.
Most materials don't need to be engraved at such a high resolution because you can't see the quality beyond a certain point. For example, when you're laser engraving glass, the glass is actually cracking in tiny little sections. These tiny cracks in the glass are a lot bigger than a single dot at 500dpi so engraving at 600dpi is a waste of time because you can't see the higher detail.
What materials can be laser engraved?
Almost anything can be laser engraved. If it's able to be burnt and can fit into a laser engraving machine then it can probably be laser engraved.
Items that fit this list include:
Wood, plastic, fabric, leather, tiles, porcelain, some metals, paper, cardboard, glass, and stone.
And a great solution to marking something that can't be engraved is engraving a metal, wood or plastic plaque and sticking it to the object that couldn't be engraved.
here are some examples of some different materials
What image types can be engraved?
Both vector and raster images can be engraved.
A vector image is colour coded (in RGB) for different engraving intensities. For example, if I wanted an outline to be a deep engraving I could colour it Black (R:0 G:0 B:0) and set the laser at 100% power and 50% speed for everything black. Then I could colour the image inside the border Green (R:0 G:255 B:0) and set the laser at 80% power and 80% speed for everything Green. This allows us to have wonderful variation within the image and made a feature of specific parts of the engraving.
A raster image is engraved as "colour darkness" = "laser intensity". For example, if I had a picture of a black ball on a white table, the black ball will be engraved at a high laser power and the white table will be engraved at a low power. The entire image will be engraved that the same speed, it's just the power of the laser that is adjusted as it runs over the different colour intensities.
So once you're ready to have something engraved come and see us at WA Engraving.
Any question please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org