Platinum Awards can take on most forms of engraving and marking. We can laser engrave all forms of plastic, glass, cystal and wood. We can also metal mark on stainless steel and pewter.
For a quick overview of the laser engraving and marking process, please read below:
Laser Engraving and Marking
Laser engraving and marking uses a CO2 laser to engrave or mark a given object. Laser marking changes the colour of the object via chemical reaction. (As Jesse Pinkman would say, ‘Science, b****!’) This is a common way of engraving pewter tankards or stainless steel memorial plates. It is very clear to read because of the contrast on the metal. If you were using an old machine engraver you would need to paint fill to get a similar effect.
It is a more efficient way to engrave as the process is non-contact, and there is no wear or tear on the engraver. We use specified laser materials to engrave into for the most effective results. The laser beam is emitted from a moveable carriage controlled by computer software. Each material has a set power and speed that if calibrated correctly will engrave or mark precisely. The laser is so precise it can engrave high resolution photographs onto suitable materials – see example below laser engraved photograph on laser ply.
How Does a Laser Engraver Work?
The laser engraver has an x-y table to allow the laser beam to move accurately. The laser beam is focused through a lens at the point of engraving, allowing intricate patterns to be engraved. Laser engravers use vector and raster settings. The vector follows a precise continuous line where the raster moves back and forth. The vector is often used for cutting and the raster for engraving, similar to how a inkjet printer would use a back and forth motion.
What Can be Laser Engraved?
Most materials can be laser engraved. The most common types are the following:
- Wood – Harder woods produce more consistent results as they are more resilient. Soft woods can be problematic so numerous test runs are required. The results are unpredictable because of the density and the resin content. It is common practice to test run the back of the wooden object to monitor how it reacts to different laser settings.
- Plastic and acrylic – The laser engraving of acrylic awards is preferable to most people over glass and crystal. The soft nature of plastic gives a very precise result.
- Standard cast acrylic plastic, acrylic plastic sheet, and cast resins – There are numerous plastic materials made specifically for laser engraving. There are certain materials that are unsafe to laser engrave even with correct extraction. Polycarbonate is one of these materials. Generally speaking, acrylic is great for laser engraving.
- Metal – It needs to be laser marked, which involves spraying a chemical on the metal. The chemical reaction creates the marking. Pre-coated metal and anodised aluminium engrave very well.
- Glass and crystal – They are engraved by the laser fracturing the glass and producing detailed etching. The results are excellent and give a high glass look. This is a popular style for corporate and recognition awards.
The following materials can be laser engraved effectively with minimal to no problems: acrylic, anodised aluminium, ceramic, foam, glass, laminated plastics, leather, marble, masonite, melamine, paper, painted metals, plastics, rubber, stone, veneer and wood.
If you want something laser engraved or marked, bring it down to the Platinum Awards showroom in Brookvale, Sydney. We will happily run a test for you.