When trying to engrave anything at all, what might be the first question you ask yourself? Personally, I would ask Superman or Cyclops (X-Men) to open their eyes just enough to engrave. However, if you have your feet firmly placed on the ground then that would not be an option. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to do some research on the different types of laser cutting machines; in our studio we have a CO2 laser cutter.
You might be asking yourself next, which materials our laser cutter would be able to engrave? The choices of materials you have are varied and diverse, we have personally engraved on; Acrylic, Glass, Laminates, Leather, Paper, Plastics, Stone, Textiles and Wood. There are even more choices in material depending on the laser cutting machine.
The reason I have constructed a step by step guide is to help anybody that is curious about engraving or would like to expand their knowledge base.
Ideally, this will be obvious but the first step into laser cutting would be to get your hands on a laser cutting machine. Now, you can purchase one of your own, that could set you back. You could also visit a business that already has one because most of the times they will let you hire out the machine.
The next step is to make sure the lens on the machine is clean, a thorough wipe with a cloth should be sufficient. The reason why this is important is because the image will be distorted if the lens is not properly maintained.
This step in my opinion is the easiest, as all you will have to do is switch the laser cutting machine on and wait for it to warm up.
We are half way through the guide and as you might have noticed the first half was focused on the laser cutting machine itself. No reason to worry though, the next half will be focused on the actual engraving itself.
This step is when you would design your image that is being engraved. It would be the most fun to a person with a creative mind because when it comes to design, you’re only limited by your imagination.
Personally, I think this step is the most crucial, as you will be choosing the material your image is engraved upon. Picking the right material is why this step is important and that can only be done through researching why not to use certain materials for laser cutting.
The final step of this guide is choosing the line width and cutting speed of your laser cutter. After everything is aligned and your happy, press print and drink a well-earned cup of tea, while the laser does its magic.
After reading how easy it is to engrave, you might be on the edge of your seat wanting to dive straight in. Before you do, I’ll leave you with one last point regarding the health and safety of the whole procedure. In our day and age there is a YouTube tutorial for almost anything and I would suggest you find a video on keeping safe while laser cutting. Apart from that, just have fun and witness how your designs can come to life.