Laser engravers are a little bit different than traditional engraving machines. With the laser engraving machine, no actual piece of mechanics (tools, bits, and so on) ever comes into contact with the surface that is being engraved. The laser itself does the engraving and there is no need to constantly be replacing engraving tips like with the other machines.
The laser beam is directed at the surface of the material which is to be engraved and it traces patterns onto the surface. This is all controlled through the computer system. The center (focal) point of the laser actually is very hot and can either vaporize the material or causes what is called the glass effect. The glass effect is where the surface actually just cracks and the material can be removed, revealing the engraving that has been done. There is no cutting process with the laser engraving machine.
The laser engraving machine usually works around the X and Y-axis. The machine may be the mobile unit while the surface stays still. The surface may move while the laser stays still. Both the surface and the laser can move. No matter what way the machine is configured to work, the effects will always be the same. Laser engravers can be used for many different things. Stamping is one of them. Stamping is used in several industries to mark their products either through numbers or expiration. It is a considerably fast process and is an easy way for the company to achieve this.
Laser engraving machines are available in commercial grades or for the small business that does not require a very large machine. The machines are designed to engrave on various types of materials, such as wood, plastic, metal, etc. You can design and create some beautiful pieces of jewelry, art, wood plaques, awards, furniture, etc. The possibilities are endless with the laser engraving machine.
These machines also work through software programs. You can basically engrave any graphic that you want, even pictures. Take a picture, scan it into your computer, import the picture to your software program, change it to the grayscale, configure the lasers speed, etc and then send it to the laser for printing. Sometimes you have to hit the buttons on the laser engraving machine for the print job to actually start.
People have even made homemade DIY laser engravers. There was a video on YouTube that showed a high school shop student with his homemade laser engraver and it was working, engraving into a piece of wood. Do not think that you have to spend a lot of money on purchasing a laser engraving machine because you do not. You can actually build one yourself if you are brave enough to try. It is possible as the YouTube videos prove.
If you have any further questions about laser engraving or laser engraving machines, contact a manufacturer of these types of machines. They will be able to further explain this type of technology to you and will answer any questions that you can come up with.