Laser Marking, Laser Engraving or Laser Cutting: Which One is the Best? When it comes to marking products, imprinting your brand logo, labeling components, or printing out the serial number or VIN, there are usually three different types of marking methods involved. These methods are carried out by laser marking systems, but the real question should be which method or process is ideal? Thereâ€™s a misconception that laser cutting, laser marking, and laser engraving are all the same, but in actuality, they are different from one another and they depend on the kind of material you are using and the nature of your product. For example, engraving is good in certain conditions; however, cutting might not be suitable as it cuts into the surface and it can damage the product through oxidation.
In this article, all the three methods have been explained briefly but in a thorough manner, so that you can make a better decision when choosing the process of marking for your product. Laser Engraving Conducted by a fiber laser engraver, engraving is one of the most commonly used methods of marking materials and products. There are many examples of engraved products all around you; just look at your wedding ring, for example. During engraving, the material on the productâ€™s surface is removed slightly to create a certain depth, which leaves a mark. This mark is permanent and used on plastics and metals.
However, this might cause the product to rust or oxidize quickly and produce an unwanted effect. Or if you want a funky look, this might just be the effect you are looking for. Engraving is done through different methods, though. Laser engraving yields a fine level of detail and it is ideal for etching or labeling serial numbers, inscriptions, logos, and images. Laser Marking
Speaking practically, laser marking is a broad term and laser engraving is a type of laser marking. It is performed by a laser marking machine and is used when you want your product’s integrity to last longer and don’t want to spoil its aesthetics. Instead of cutting into the surface, the carbon is redistributed on the surface of the material from the heat generated by the laser, thus leaving a mark. There’s also another way of carrying out this procedure. The material’s surface is exposed to multiple chemical substances which cause a change in the color. The benefit of this method is that the surface is changed on the micron level and therefore, the surface won’t react with the
oxygen in the atmosphere and produce rust. Laser marking is perfect for marking surgical equipment and tools. Laser Cutting This method is very different from laser marking and laser engraving as it involves sectioning or cutting a shape or piece of a material like metal or plastic. Carried out by a laser etching machine, this procedure is ideal for creating your own designs, shapes or silhouettes into the materialâ€™s surface. Keep in mind though that this will not leave a mark on your productâ€™s surface.