Lasers can engrave on just about any material. The most popular materials in the engraving fields are coated metals, wood, acrylic, glass, leather, marble, plastic, and host of synthetic materials made specifically for lasers. You can think of a laser as a light source similar to a light bulb – a light bulb will emit energy out all around it.
Laser marking is also referred to as laser etching. Unlike conventional etching, laser etching needs no masks or chemicals. Some people just call it laser etching and others call it laser engraving but basically the technique uses a computer-controlled laser beam to mark a surface.
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It didn't take long for the engraving industry to notice the new lasers and soon lasers were being used for a wide variety of industrial applications including welding, heat-treating, etching and engraving.
And almost all materials can be laser engraved/laser marked. The light source name – LASER, is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
You can also cut metal with lasers. The laser metal cutting option can be added to some models of the laser cutting machines. The ability to laser cut complex profiles can eliminate the need for additional operations, making laser cutting very economical. Lasers work well for cutting acrylic (Plexiglas), PETG, thin polycarbonates (Mylar), styrene expanded PVC (Sintra), wood, paper and fabric.
Laser etching can be done on many other materials including slate, granite, stainless steel, leather, arborite, glass, mirrors, and premium hard woods. And laser cutting offers a superior cut-edge quality with parallel sides and no burrs.