How 3-D Laser Engraving Works
3-D laser engraving has taken over the market of personalized gifts. They are the most loved give-away tokens of love. People exchange them as a part of someone’s birthday present, farewell present, or anniversary present. However, the horizon expands into deeper dimensions. The industry has grown into one of the highly profitable industries across the globe. You can call it the magic of science, something that amazed everyone in the past and is here to stay forever.
A personalized gift is still the relevant synonym for 3-D engraving. But its market dimensions also include designing a corporate product, engraving a logo on a flat hard surface, and photo-related products.
The process of 3-D engraving simultaneously deals with helping a brand to offer its merchandise in the market. The engraved symbol of a brand offers validation to the customers. The better the look the higher the validation. Customers have become sharp in identifying whether the product is real or fake.
Depth rarely varies with an error margin of 0.01 mm. The creation of realistic 3-D rendered products marks the true identity of a brand. This is expected to increase the growth of 3-D engraving services in the market. It will be assisted by the speed that it offers to complete a project.
Types Of 3-D Lasers
Every 3-D laser machine performs the same function. They primarily differ in terms of the features that they offer to the operator. While some of the machines are exclusively for industries, a few of them are available for normal residential use as well.
Let’s review some of the best machines to understand the different types of 3-D lasers.
1. BIBO 3D
BIBO 3D is of its kind 3-D engraving laser machine. It utilizes 100W power while functioning at its maximum capacity. BIBO 3D offers an option to engrave in dual colors. These majorly include dark and light shades of color. The laser machine can be connected to a system through its USB port.
2. Orion Motor Tech 80
As the name suggests, the machine functions with the power of 80W when it is being used at its maximum strength. The operator gets the liberty to work in the area of 20×28 inches. Orion Motor Tech 80 is entirely compatible with CorelDraw, AutoCAD, and other designing software.
3. Orion Motor Tech 40
This is a lighter version of Orion Motor Tech 80. It utilizes less power than the previous one. It works by consuming a maximum of 40W power. Orion Motor Tech 40 comes with an in-built exhaust fan and detachable wheels.
4. Dremel LC40-01
Dremel LC40-01 is a UL-Certified 3-D laser engraving machine. It can create the 3-D design smoothly on a piece of wood, leather, glass, cardboard, and paper. The machine consumes only 40W power.
5. FoxAlien LE-4040
This machine is a perfect pick for Do-It-Yourself projects. Industries do not prefer to work with FoxAlien LE-4040; however, residents and small-scale factories explore it as a great alternative to other available 3-D Laser Engraving machines. It offers a maximum speed of 3,000 mm per minute with 5W power consumption.
6. Ten-High 3020 40W
The 40W version of Ten-High 3020 3-D laser engraving machine gives an accuracy of 0.01 mm. You can use this machine to work on an area of a maximum of 20×8 inches. It consumes the highest power of 40W.
7. Ten-High CO2
Ten-High CO2 is one of the few 3-D laser engraving machines to offer pre-installed software. The software is called LaserDraw Software. It assists the operator to draw the output that he or she wants to see engraved on a surface. The machine is also compatible with other designing software.
8. Orion Motor Tech 50W
It falls nearly in the middle of Orion Motor Tech 40 and Orion Motor Tech 80. Orion Motor Tech 50 functions well on surfaces like wood and textile. It consumes the power of 50W and offers a working area of 20×12 inches.
9. Beamo 30W
Beam 30W is the most user-friendly 3-D laser engraving machine. It enables a person to engrave by using their smartphone. The machine is capable of reading jpg, png, svg, and dxf formats. It delivers the final output in 1,000-dpi resolution.
10. Glowforge Plus
Glowforge Plus gives the user a feel of domestic rather than industrial. It also functions as a printer. The 3-D laser engraving machine accepts commands through its app called Glowforge app.
11. SFX 180W Reci W8 CO2
This 3-D laser engraving machine weighs 946 pounds. SFX 180W Reci W8 CO2 offers a speed of 60,000 mm per minute. It can be connected to a system through its 2.0 USB connectivity port.
The key to delivering the right output is choosing the best material. The Process of 3-D laser engraving is incomplete without possessing the knowledge about what materials can be used. The industry has many options. We will focus on the ones that are widely used in the market.
Plastic is widely used in the engraving industry due to its cost. The material has always been available at a moderate cost. It continues to rule the industry for the same reason. Plastic is available at all places and this is another reason why industries prefer plastic over other materials.
The two types of plastic that majorly prevail are aluminide and ABS. Aluminide is used when an operator has to work on a prototype. It is a mix of polyamide and fine particles of aluminum. ABS, also known as Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is made up of three materials. All of them are mentioned as their full name.
It possesses high mechanical properties. That is the reason why it is used a lot by major industries. The type of Resin material that the operators use to create a detailed print is very clear. It is a smooth translucent material that enables the operator to work on minor details.
Flexible Polyurethane offers a good amount of resistance against heat that is emitted during the process of 3-D engraving. It is a semi-rigid material.
The usage of Metal includes being primarily deployed in aerospace and aeronautics. Aluminum, of the types of metal, is applied to the parts that remain exposed to high voltage. It is installed where a strong low-weighted material is required.
Stainless Steel is a type of metal that offers high resistance against corrosion and extreme hot temperature.
The functioning of 3-D laser engraving is simple. It starts with finalizing the design as per the requirements of a client. This takes the maximum number of days. One sample goes through several revisions before a client confirms it and gives a thumbs-up for further processing.
It is also important to understand the requirements. Corporate management that is looking to get the nameplates of its senior managers engraved would prefer metal over plastic. This choice is made based on the final look and strength. The price is never a priority in such situations.
Upon finalizing the material, you can proceed with engraving the design on it. As compared to 2-D engraving, 3-D engraving is a bit more complicated. It uses and relies a lot on computer software.
The machine focuses its beams on the surface. It engraves the material based on the final design that has been saved in the software. It identifies the relevant 3-D coordinates and plots the points accordingly.
This is repeated for all the other 3-D coordinates. The machine adjusts its power automatically based on how dark the area is. As per the general principle, a 3-D laser engraving machine runs with high power for areas that need to be darker and low power for areas that need to be lighter.
Once engraved, the surface is allowed to be cooled down after which it is properly cleaned by a cloth.
Irrespective of which material and machine are used, you must remember to protect your eyes by wearing an appropriate pair of glasses. Clean the surface before initiating the engraving process and after the design has been engraved. Ensure that the design has been given an official nod by the customer as a design that has been engraved once cannot be re-done.