What is laser engraving?
Let's talk about some concepts of laser engraving first, so what is laser engraving? In the traditional concept of engraving, the engraving we understand is the exquisite patterns chiseled out by the imaginary master with a carving knife or electric tools.
So the so-called laser engraving is the use of laser technology for engraving. The principle is to use laser thermal energy to burn or chemically change the engraved surface to produce engraved marks.
The advantage of laser engraving machines compared with hand-held tools is that the engraved text and patterns can be controlled, the size can also be controlled, and the engraved patterns are relatively fine. The disadvantage is that it may not be as three-dimensional as manual physical engraving, so laser engraving machines are mainly used for shallow marking.
Structure of laser engraving machine
The engraving function of the laser engraving machine mainly requires software control, mechanical transmission, and laser light source. The software is used as a human-computer interaction page for editing pictures and texts, adjusting parameters and starting and stopping. The laser light source is the core component of laser engraving. The characteristics of the light source determine the material effect of the engraving achieved by the laser machine. The energy level has a significant impact on the engraving depth and speed.
Classification of light sources
At present, the common light sources of laser engraving machines on the market mainly include CO2 light source, fiber optic light source, purple light source, green light source, and diode light source. The laser wavelength is different, and the engraving efficiency is also very different.
●CO2 light sources: the main materials suitable for engraving are wood, leather, plastic and other non-metallic materials.
●Fiber optic light sources: the main engraving materials are metal or paint surface with relatively high density. Generally speaking, wood is not easy to carve, unless it is extremely dense and hard, and can be carved.
●Purple light source: It is a relatively high-end light source with very fine engraving and a wide range of engraving.
●Green light source: We may have seen many three-dimensional images in the middle of acrylic, usually engraved with a green light source, which can engrave transparent glass and other materials.
●Diode light source: This kind of light source, which was originally stage lighting, has achieved a gorgeous turn in the laser engraving industry. Its engraving principle is somewhat similar to a magnifying glass lighting a cigarette under the sun.
I believe that this is what many friends who want to buy a laser engraving machine are most concerned about. Everyone definitely wants to choose a practical and affordable laser machine type. So before choosing, you can understand the advantages and disadvantages of various laser machines!
●CO2 laser engraving machine: the advantages include a wide range of engraving materials, such as wood, leather, plastic, rubber, etc., high power, fast engraving speed and high precision. The disadvantage is that the machine is generally 40-50 kg heavy and inconvenient to move. Generally, the price is moderate and it is suitable for factories.
●Fiber laser engraving machine: The advantages include high engraving precision and fast speed, suitable for batch operation in factories, and can be connected to factory automation production lines. The disadvantage is that the price of the machine is more expensive, the volume is larger, and the weight is more than 30 kg;
●Purple laser engraving machine: the advantage is that it can engrave a wide range of materials, which can not only engrave metal, but also engrave non-metal. It can realize one machine with multiple functions. The disadvantages are mainly due to the characteristics of the purple light source, the price is expensive, the machine is heavy, and it is suitable for advanced manufacturing.
●Green laser engraving machine: the advantage is that it can realize three-dimensional engraving and three-dimensional positioning engraving. The disadvantage is that it is bulky and expensive.
●Diode laser engraving machine: the advantages include low price, small size and easy to move. The main disadvantage is that the engraving speed is slow, and pure metal cannot be engraved. Due to the speed limit, it is generally more suitable for personal DIY home use, or for small and medium-sized businesses to customize in small batches.
By the way, Phecda, the first laser engraving machine released by ELEGOO, is a diode laser engraving machine. It is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter at a very affordable price.