Laser Engraving How To…

A Laser Engraveing uses a laser beam as the engraving tool to mark the surface of a part by either removing a thin layer of the material (by vaporizing the material) or by causing the surface of the material to fracture. On some materials secondary marking effects are caused by the heat of the light beam and may include toasting / charring or melting of the material.¬† As the laser engraving process does not use a mechanical cutter and the laser can be focused to a point only 0.005″ across it can engrave very detailed marks onto materials that cannot be engraved using any other process. The amount of detail that can be engraved is usually limited by the ability of the material to hold the detail not by the engraving process.
If you have any questions about having a part Laser engraved, please contact us.

How To
The process starts with a designing of a digital drawing. Usable formats include .eps, .cdr, .ai, .bmp, and other file formats. If you do not have a digital drawing of your part you can mail or email a drawing or sketch along with the required sizes and we can design  it for you. Once we have a design we will send you an estimate of the costs. Upon receiving your approval and payment in full we will engrave your parts and ship them to you.
Tips for Preparing Files for Laser Engraving
If you create your design using a program such as CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator here are some tips for designing your parts;

  • Give your file a unique name.
  • Draw all parts full size.
  • Use black for all details that are to be engraved
  • Use text, thick lines (> .010″), and filled areas where you want the laser to engrave.
  • Remove ALL outlines (thin outlines may be cut).
  • Include an outline of the part to be engraved with the engraving positioned where it is to appear in the finished part.

The process works best with graphics in a vector format. Preferred file formats are;

  • .CDR – CorelDraw X4 or earlier
  • .AI – Adobe Illustrator (for PC) CS or earlier
  • .3DM – Rhinoceros Version 4.0 or earlier
  • .DXF or .DWG – AutoCad R2000 or earlier

Other file formats (.SVG, .GIF, .JPG, .BMP, etc.) can be used but they usually (i.e. 90% of the time) result in an inferior engraving. The largest part we can engrave is 24″ X 48″. If the part doesn’t fit in an 24″ X 48″ box in your drawing program it will not fit in the Laser either! Text, thick lines, bit maps, and fills (shaded areas) will be engraved. Note, if a figure has a thin red outline the laser can be set up to engrave the black filled area and then cut along the outline, this is useful for engraving and cutting parts at the same time. If you wish to include this function to the processing of your parts please include a note in the instructions that that is what you want to do.

Applications

Due to the incredible versatility of this process and the range of materials that can be processed the following list is not all inclusive but rather a sample of what can be done with laser engraving.

  • Decoration engraving on interrior – furniture, glass, backsplashes, fireplaces, floors
  • Personalization of gifts, awards, and personal items
  • Decoration of products with text, logos, and graphics
  • Marking / Serializing / Identification
  • Signs / warnings / notices / operating instructions
  • Lamacoids
  • Name tags and badges
  • Industrial tags and legend
  • Plumbing tags and legend plates
  • Electrical tags and legend plates
  • Control panel overlays
  • Artwork, original and serial
  • and many others

Materials

We can laser engrave:

  • Acrylic
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Cloth
  • Delrin
  • Glass
  • Granite
  • Leather and suede
  • Marble
  • Matte Board
  • Melamine
  • MOP – Mother of Pearl, Abalam
  • Mylar
  • Paper, card, and cardboard
  • Plastic
  • Pressboard
  • Rubber
  • Wood, plywood, and wood veneer
  • and many others?

We can mark:

  • Anodized Aluminum
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Coated Metals
  • Painted Metals
  • Stainless stell

Limitations

The largest part we can laser engrave is 24″ X 48″. Some bare metals can be permanently marked using a laser activated marking compound but we cannot engrave them.

Requesting a Quote

Once you have your drawing finished, you can send it along with an email to request a quote from us. Some of the things to include in the email would be:

  • The drawing as an attachment.
  • Contact information where we can reach you. Either by email or phone number
  • How many copies of the drawing you want cut
  • When you would need the finished product by
  • Material you would like to have the product made from.
  • Any other information that you feel would be helpful to us in returning a quote.

You can select from Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, or CanPar for delivery service.

If you have any questions about having a part Laser engraved, please contact us. email: info@artlinedesign.ca