Well, yes. You heard that right. Laser texturing does add another level of in-mold decoration possibilities. Now you might wonder how that is even possible? The answer couldn’t be more simple. Laser texturing allows intricate detailing that can be further added in the injection molds to be used for decorations.
But, that is not all. So, let us further dive into the world of laser texturing and look at various ways with which it enhances our decorative creativity. First, let’s start with what is laser texturing actually is, shall we?
Not many of us know this but, the laser is an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. What it actually means is that lasers are devices that are electronic and focus a narrow and intense light beam of any monochromatic light. It does so by using the energy produced by the collisions of different protons. This technology is not as new as one might think. Actually, it has existed for years now but applying it for various technologies has just started coming up in recent times.
If you have to program for laser texturing you can begin by saving the texture as an 8/16,- bit grayscale tiff. JPEG works as well. What you have to keep in mind during the process is that the ablation is related to the color. If the black is darker, so will be the ablation. Comparatively the ablation will be lighter if the laser is whiter.
What it essentially does is provide you with enough layers, 65000 to be precise. If you compare this to other traditional processes like chemical ones, they only cover like 6-10 layers. Now, you may ask how does it matter? To answer your question in layman’s terms, the more the layers, the smoother the texture becomes.
Advantages Of Laser Texturing
Now let us go into detail and find out the various advantages of choosing laser texturing over other processes.
⦁ Digital– one of the best things about laser texturing is the fact that it is a completely digital process as compared to other manual works. This is so because with the process being digital, the manufacturers are more confident in their work now as the results will be consistent all over no matter what. One might be doing it in any part of the world but because of its digitalization, the outcome will be the same everywhere.
⦁ New Textures– since the process of decoration through laser texturing is digitalized, it gives it more room for variety. In the sense that now there is room for more textures to be included than ever before. You can even blend different textures into one another. The sky’s the limit here. Anything you want in terms of textures in the design can be done in a single piece of work itself. How fascinating? This opens up more areas for improvisation of your creative skills.
⦁ Reduction of Harsh Chemicals– a normal and traditional process of chemical etchings uses many harsh chemicals in the process. Not only that but it takes a lot of time to get one piece of art done. Using laser texturing as an alternative would not only reduce the use of such harsh chemicals but also reduce the time in manufacturing one product. This boosts efficiency while effectively causing no further damage.
⦁ Hybridity– laser texturing also ensures hybridity. This means that if you are using laser texturing to decorate a product that doesn’t mean that you cannot use another process on it. Many manufacturers use both laser texturing as well as chemical etching processes to get their desired decorations. What some of them do is move the product to work under a chemical processor but before that, they will remove the masking through lasers.
⦁ Useful for Complex Molds– If the molds that they are working with are very complex, they use a 5-axis layer system. With complex molds, it becomes difficult to ensure consistency especially on the welding lines but if you are working with a laser, the process becomes much easier, more so on while working on the edges.
Laser texturing has a kind of versatility that makes it extra special than the rest of them. It’s technologically advanced and hence meets the needs of manufacturers perfectly.
Potential Markets For Laser Manufacturing
There are various opportunities for laser texturing to flourish in the market given its advanced technology and its ability to complete the entire process digitally. It can also create textures that are brand specific which is literally blowing everyone’s mind. The 5 axis capabilities on top of that are the perfect icing on the cake.
So, let us look at the few of those markets which are absolutely amazed by this technology and are adopting it gradually-
⦁ The Plastic Bottle Industry– Also considered the blow mold industry, they are using this technology of laser texturing and making it their own by experimenting with unique styles. Many of the manufacturers are simply using generic bottles but adding a different texture to them which is making them comprehensively unique. They are using different inserts for texture which means that they can use the same generic bottles but due to the use of different inserts, it becomes unique and different from the rest.
They need this technology, especially because laser texturing can creatively engrain their brand logo and other additional information about their caps. It can also create ridges on the sides of the cap because of its unique 5-axis technology. The different contrasts and textures available through the process add a new feature to your product. The fact that it hits the parting line so effortlessly and accurately is surely one of the major highlights of this process.
⦁ Automotive Manufacturers– The laser texturing technology has taken the automotive industry by storm as they are the biggest adopters of this technology yet. Laser texturing offers a distinction of texture that is the dream of all automotive manufacturers. Be it door panels or dashboards or headlights, laser texturing adds a new dimension to these distinctions. Due to the fact that lasers can work with like 65000 layers, manufacturers can make it feel like the real thing with its right application.
For many, headlights would have to be the most essential part of the car whose mold needs to be different from all the rest. Every manufacturer claims that their headlights are different from the rest of their competition and that their customers can distinguish and recognize their unique design over the rest. This is not just limited to decorative elements of the textures but also the fact that nowadays there are different kinds of advancements in lightbulbs for headlights. Some of them need defusing that can be done through its molds by using laser texturing only.