A laser engraver for metal is the best engraving machine in the market. Laser engraving can be ideal for starting a profitable, straightforward business with less labor. Compared to CNC routers and plasma engraving machines, a laser engraver for metal is easier and quicker. On the other hand, laser metal engraving machines are versatile compared to other metal engravers. You can get many options for business ideas from this metal laser engraver. However, this article will discuss some of the most popular uses of laser metal engraving.
Due to the rapid growth in the technology market, many laser machine manufacturers are presenting different laser engraver models, also offering lower prices. Among all these brands, how do you choose the best laser engraving machine for metal? In this case, we have prepared this article to make it easy for you. This article would be a great guide to choosing the best laser engraving machine for metal.
A laser engraver for metal is typically suitable for cutting, engraving, or marking metals based on definite laser power levels. Besides, substantial power levels also determine the type of materials being engraved. While choosing the appropriate metal engraving machine, you must know your targets. Otherwise, you might get into trouble for unplanned steps.
Thunder Laser offers its customers different types of laser engraving machines. They primarily manufacture various laser cutting, engraving, and marking devices. Most of these types are ideal for metal engraving. However, choosing a Thunder Laser machine may give you the following advantages.
- Engraving quality and accuracy: Laser engraver for metal from Thunder laser provides high-precision engraving results. These machines have high-quality laser beam which doesn’t affect the surrounding of the engraved area. As a result, the cutting or engraving becomes accurate, and the final product comes with high-quality finishing.
- Fast production rate: Laser engraving machines undoubtedly provide the fastest engraving results. All the Thunder laser machines are automated and controlled by computer programs. Therefore, these machines can produce hundreds of products in a minimal time.
- Flexibility: Laser engraving machines are versatile as it works on all type of metal surfaces, such as plain, rough, round, or uneven. Laser engraving machines can also engrave metals like carbon steel, stainless steel, alloys, plastics, etc.
Laser Engraver for Metal: Three Types
Laser engraver for metal has three primary types of laser sources. A LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is an electrical energy that combines particles of light stimulated by the electron of certain gases, crystals, or certain types of glass. It is important to note that a high-power laser engraving machine can produce higher-power laser beams.
Therefore, based on different laser sources, there are three primary types of laser engravers for metal available in the market, such as CO2 Laser engravers, Fiber Laser engravers, and YAG Laser engravers.
1. CO2 Laser Engravers – Odin Laser Engraving Machine
CO2 laser engraver usually produces laser through a gas tube which contains mainly carbon dioxide. This gas tube may sometimes include a mixture of other gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium. It is important to note that CO2 laser engraver produces invisible lasers.
As mentioned, CO2 laser engravers can produce high laser powers up to multiple Kilowatts for industrial machines. The CO2 laser machines from 25 to 100 watts in typical workshops are suitable for any DIY project.
The most popular applications for CO2 lasers are in the décor, product branding, engraved brick, and food industries. Although they can work with some metals, CO2 lasers are ideal in this case for non-metallic materials. Most of the time, it can cut thin sheets of non-ferrous metals like aluminum. Above all, the best materials for projects using CO2 laser engraving are wood, acrylic, or paper.
Odin Laser Engraving Machine is the best choice for CO2 laser engraver for metal from Thunder lasers. You can get 559×381 up to 813x508mm of the working area from this model. Two power levels are available for this model, 33W and 55W. Besides, Nova Series are also excellent choices you may look at.
2. Fiber Laser Engravers
Technically, Fiber Laser engravers are a type of solid-state laser machine that uses seed lasers. This type of laser engraver amplifies the laser beam using glass fibers. Since the fiber laser can produce a minimal focal diameter, the cost of the technology is considerably high. Therefore, fiber laser engravers can make finer engraving than CO2 Laser engravers.
Fiber laser engravers offer long service life and require less maintenance. Fiber laser engravers can manage intensities higher than CO2 lasers with the same input power. Due to the flexibility of the fiber laser system, it is easy to apply more functionalities. MOPA fiber laser system is one of the market’s most common fiber laser engravers.
Fiber Laser engravers are the best choice for engraving metals and thermoplastics. It is also suitable for marking metals by the annealing process. Besides metals and plastics, fiber laser engraves can also engrave wood, glass, acrylic, bricks, etc. As mentioned earlier, fiber laser engravers can be versatile and deal with different materials depending on the power.
The laser marking aurora series is the best choice for fiber laser engravers from Thunder Lasers. These models come with a working area of 110×110 up to 200x200mm. The power range might vary between 20W, 50W, and 20W MOPA.
3. YAG Laser Engravers
Like the fiber laser engravers, a YAG laser is a type of solid-state laser. The complete form of YAG is yttrium aluminum garnet which is the host crystal of the system. This host crystal acts as the electron source in the laser engraving process. However, YAG laser engravers are widely famous in most industrial material processing.
YAG laser engravers are the best for etching metals in bulk order production. YAG laser engravers often etch silverware. Besides silverware, this machine also engraves various materials, such as brass, pewter, acrylic, plastic, steel/stainless steel, and aluminum.
Metal Laser Engraving Uses
Laser engraving is fast and precise. As a result, this remarkable technology can accurately engrave every detail of the pattern or design. In this case, cutting thin metal sheets and acrylic with complex shapes is prevalent using a laser metal engraver. On the other hand, metal laser engraving is also famous for engraving electronic parts and equipment, toys, small gadgets, musical instruments, custom fabrications, utility equipment, etc.
Moreover, metal laser engraving is often famous for DIY metal projects. Besides this, there are a bunch of applications for metal laser engraving. In the following, we will discuss some of the best applications of metal laser engraving.
- Identification Tags: Identification tags comes in various sizes containing logo, brand names, QR codes, serial numbers, text, or symbols.
- Jewelry: Rings, necklaces, amulets, watchstraps, and hand watch parts are the best example of laser-engraved jewelry. Every tiny letter on the ring or detailed design on the jewelry is part of laser engraving.
- Awards: Ribbons, school achievements, donor plaques, sales awards, athletic awards, trophies, annual awards, etc., are famous examples that require laser engraving machines.
- Gifts: A gift often includes the most precious memories or unique designs representing any special occasion.
- Signage: Signage and badges of metal, wood, plastics, acrylics, etc., all suitable for laser engraving applications.
- Branding: Logos, company names, and calligraphy representing a company brand are easy to create on laser engraving machines.
- Art: arts, pictures, cartoons, etc.
- Promotional Items: pens, lighters, locks, textiles, USB sticks, keyrings, etc., are popular promotional items.
- Nameplates: Company nameplates, employee nameplates, faculty members, or even student nameplates often require laser engraving machines.
- Product Labels: Every large machinery requires a label on it. A metal plate with laser-engraved letters is usually famous for machine labeling.
How Laser Engraving for Metal Works?
Lasers are typically bright, monochromatic, and good at directing. It is important to note that laser is different from ordinary light. The laser has high luminous intensity, coherence, and high laser intensity. After the laser is radiated from the laser source, a collection of mirrors transmits and irradiates the laser beam to the material surface.
The high-intensity laser beams are so powerful that it creates a high temperature when they fall on a specific point on a surface. After that, the particular point quickly melts and vaporizes due to the high-temperature effect. Therefore, laser engraving is fast and accurate that can ensure every sharp detail from a design. Thus, laser engraving for metal is famous in many applications, as mentioned in the previous heading.
The laser gun moves according to the program given by the operator. It moves at a definite speed based on the requirement of the engravings. CNC, or computer numeric control, is the popular machine language suitable for most automated engraving machines for metal. According to the CNC programs, the X, Y, and Z axis motors rotate as per the design requirements.
On the other hand, laser engraving software such as the light burn software is very famous for laser engraving for metals. The software allows you to customize the design and control the laser power levels. In some cases, some brands offer their company-made software. But in most cases, the basis of using such software is the same for all.
How To Choose The Right Laser Engraver for Metal?
Choosing a suitable laser engraver for metal takes work from many options. Nova series, Odin series, and aurora series include multiple power levels with definite engraving areas. Knowing how to choose the best option from these models is necessary.
However, the quality of a laser engraving machine depends on some factors you must notice. These factors undoubtedly determine the best option for your target business from a list of choices. Besides, these factors will also make you confident about what and why you should buy a particular laser engraver for metal. Therefore, consider the following factors before choosing a laser engraver for metal.
Initially, it is necessary to think of the primary reason for buying a laser engraver for metal. For example, what business products will you operate with a laser engraving machine? Which type of laser metal engraver do you need: a cutting, engraving, or marking machine? Or is it a DIY laser engraving project for mini parts and equipment?
Considering the primary purpose of buying a laser engraver for metal is essential to choose the correct option because it limits many options as you have already determined what engraving machine you are looking for.
2. Metal Type You Want Engrave
The next factor you should consider is what type of material you will work with. What type of metal would be the primary business product if it is metal? On the other hand, what is the average metal thickness of the product?
Why should you consider the type of metal and its thickness? Because it will help you determine the appropriate power level of the laser source. In addition, it will also help you to decide whether or not you need a CO2 laser engraver or a Fiber laser engraver.
The next factor that you should consider is the budget. Lower-budget laser engraving machines come with fewer features. If you are interested in those features, consider increasing the budget. On the other hand, if you are on a tight, you would better go with the budgeted option.
4. Engraving Area
The engraving area determines the maximum product size you can engrave under the laser beam. Typically, the given engraving area on a product specification is still being determined. It would be best if you considered some less than the area offered. For example, the working engraving area provided on the product specification is 200 x 200 mm. It would be best to consider 180 x 180 as it is the engraving area where you can get the optimum results.
5. Skill Level
The final factor you should consider is the skill level required to operate the machine. In this case, some devices come with automated laser engraving features, and some machines require a few manual procedures. Therefore, depending on your skill level, you should determine the device’s difficulty.
A laser engraver for metal is an excellent automated machine for starting and growing engraving businesses. However, choosing a laser engraving machine for metal is relatively easy if you have already read the above contents thoroughly. It would help to consider specific factors related to your business and your chosen models.
Thunder Laser offers a great collection of different types of Laser engravers for metal. The Nova, Odin, and Aurora series are the best choices for engraving metals and non-metals. The critical factors you should check on these models are the engraving area, power levels, and the type of laser source. You don’t need to worry about other factors such as skill level or budget as these models are easy to operate and come with the best-budgeted option.
Above all, if you face difficulty choosing the option from our list, feel free to contact the customer service team, as they are waiting to respond to your query. Thunder Laser’s expert teams can also help you choose the best laser engraver for metal for your business.