Laser Engraving Machine

For Hobbyist and Industrial Applications

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The N-Lase range of fiber laser systems offers an out-of-the-box solution for engraving metal, coated metal, plastic, glass, ceramic and organic products, making the machines a cost-effective manufacturing solution.

In manufacturing, a laser engraving machine is used for hundreds of different commercial and industrial products, from smartphones and watch batteries, to frying pans and toothbrushes.

We work with clients every day to carefully assess their application requirements and help them choose the right laser; allowing you to achieve reliable, precision results every time.

The N-Lase range of fiber laser machines

How does a fiber laser engraver work

Over the past decade, the laser engraving process has become commonplace as a manufacturing method worldwide. In a nutshell, the process is carried out by using a laser beam to alter the surface of an object.

This process can be used for dozens of applications. Most commonly, the process is used to engrave traceable dates, barcodes, logos and other identifiable product information on the material. The information can then be read by either the human eye, for example, machine part number, or by a barcode reader, for example, a data matrix code.

Depending on the material you are using, and the engraving effect needed, there are multiple engraving processes available to you. Here are some of the most popular laser engraving methods used in manufacturing:

Annealing

The annealing method works by heating a metal to a particular temperature to create various colours. The annealing method has significant advantages over traditional printing techniques. Namely, the permanent and attractive nature of the mark.

laser-annealing

Foaming

Foaming is used for plastic applications. By heating the dark plastic, the laser’s heat causes local melting on the surface of the object. The heat build-up causes bubbling, and eventually, the molten plastic creates a “foam” effect, which is significantly brighter than its surround area.  The manufacturing industry is a heavy user of the foaming process for purposes such as QR codes, serial numbers and other brand or product information.

laser-foaming

Colouring

Similar to foaming, the colouring laser process is ideal for marking light coloured plastics. A layer of oxidised soot is created as a result of the laser beam melting the plastic surface. The contrast between the coloured engraving and the surrounding plastic is what makes the design stand out.

laser-coloring

Engraving

The laser engraving method is achieved by burning into the substrate, thereby removing material marking and leaving a depression lower than the surface level. The engraving process is widely used for numerals, wording, and simple designs, and can be used on almost all metals.

laser-engraving-burning

Ablation

The ablation process removes the top layers of an object to reveal a contrasting colour below. This technique can create some interesting results by combining multiple layers of varying coloured materials to achieve different effects. Most commonly, the ablation process is used for speedometers, automotive dashboard buttons, compasses, watches and more.

laser-ablating

Bleaching

The laser can be used as a simple bleaching device, the most commonly known example being wear patterning on denim jeans. This typically requires a longer wavelength laser such as a CO2.

Laser-bleaching

What are the advantages of the N-Lase fiber laser engraving machines?

The N-Lase laser engravers can be used on most metals, coated metals, plastic, glass and organic surfaces. Most importantly, N-Lase systems excel in several ways:

 

Fast

Depending on the depth of the engraving and material used, the N-Lase can engrave text, barcodes and images in seconds! Of course, if a more complex or greater depth is needed for your design, the engraving process will take longer. However, for most manufacturing applications, the laser beam can complete the engraving in moments.

 

Consistent

The N-Lase allows you to engrave the same design dozens, hundreds or even thousands of times, yet still give you the same consistent result every time. In fact, part of the reason why laser engraving technology is so popular these days is much to do with its consistent production capabilities.

 

Automated

The engraving process can be automated with the N-Lase machines. Therefore, once you created a design and selected the right parameters for the job, the actual engraving process can be done without the need for technical expertise. Most manufacturing houses will use a jig or a production line method to engrave their products. Thereby reducing the levels of defects and errors in production.

 

Clean

Laser engraving is a non-contact technology. It means that there is no actual contact between the machine and the object during the engraving process. The machine simply fires a laser beam from a short distance away, which creates the engraved design on the surface of the object.

For this reason, the medical industry has become a heavy user of laser engraving machines in recent years. Medical tools and machines, such as surgical tools, require stringent labelling practices, which can be achieved with a laser, yet still, maintain a sterile environment.

 

Small and intricate designs

The pulse of the laser beam is so thin that it can create unbelievably complex designs in the smallest of spaces.

Manufacturing companies typically use a small-sized data matrix code to add a large number of information about a product for traceability purposes.

Additionally, jewelry items, such as rings and bracelets, often require an intricate design to be engraved onto the surface of the item. Laser engraving machines are perfect for such applications.

Working with laser engraving software

The N-Lase Designer software used for the N-Lase laser engraving machine range is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. The elements that make up the engraved design and controls for the laser are easily compiled and edited either on or offline.

You can easily create engraving files containing a variety of graphic formats, text, 2D and barcodes, serial numbers and dates. The software also includes built-in CAD tools, which allow you to manipulate DXF and PLT files.

Additionally, the software is designed with production line in mind. The multiple input/ output interfaces offer integration on to production or assembly lines, including Ethernet, serial comms and PLCs – allowing you to import and export data from external sources.

Features

Text

2D codes, QR codes and many types of barcodes

DXF, PLT, AI, JPEG and bitmap

External axis control

On-The-Fly marking

Ethernet or Serial comms

Automatic serialisation

Talk to us about finding the right laser machine for you

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