If you've ever wondered, "Can marking lasers be used for other applications?" you might be surprised by the versatility of this technology.

In addition to permanently marking products and parts for identification and traceability, there are a few other valuable applications that can help you get more done in less time with less equipment.

The range of applications depends on two main factors: 1) the type of laser engraver you have and 2) how powerful the machine is.

Let's take a look at a few alternative laser marking uses to maximize your investment.

Metal cutting
Although not as hard as diamond, metal is one of the strongest materials on earth. High-power fiber lasers (operating at 1064nm) are commonly used to mark or engrave metals and a variety of materials, including serial numbers, barcodes, 2D data matrices, and graphics.

Because fiber lasers heat up quickly, melting material in their path, they can also cut metals and metal alloys with sufficient power. This approach saves manufacturers time and equipment costs by using a single machine to cut parts and impart permanent traceability, all without sacrificing quality.

This capability is particularly useful in many manufacturing plants where laser markers can replace additional computer-driven laser cutters.

Organic material cutting
When you're working with organic materials such as wood and packaging, CO2 lasers are your best option for high-speed, high-quality marks. The technology has these same advantages when used for cutting.

A CO2 laser beam works by rapidly heating and evaporating material directly in its path. With enough power, a CO2 laser can cut these materials, leaving smooth, straight cuts with minimal discoloration, as you can see in the video of laser cutting paper.

Plastic welding
Manufacturing, especially the automotive industry, is increasingly using more plastic parts to save weight and reduce costs. The use of laser plastic welding has grown in recent years because it can effectively and seamlessly join components, unlike older methods such as screws and adhesive bonding.

Fiber lasers can melt and plasticize materials to form bonded joints. The end result is sealing, shorter cycle times and lower life cycle costs.

Multiple uses. Multiple benefits.
Fiber and CO2 lasers can give you flexibility and savings that directly impact your bottom line. From marking and engraving to cutting and welding, these versatile machines can produce valuable results:

Fast, precise marking and cutting
Computer control reduces errors
Reduce waste and costs
Smaller footprint on the factory floor