One of the significant advantages of laser engraving is that many different materials can be used. Whether it's acrylic, leather, metal, plywood, MDF, cardboard, glass or polyacetal, laser engraving is possible.
The plastic material acrylic has many characteristics. It's strong, very scratch resistant, and also stable to tolerances and shrinkage. This material handles laser manipulation well and will produce good results. Due to its waterproof properties, it is a great asset in the kitchen or bathroom. Different industries are already using acrylic, such as medical or electronics.
Two acrylic types are distinguished: cast acrylic (GS) and extruded acrylic (XT). However, in the laser engraving process, it is recommended to use only cast acrylic as it will produce better results.
Plywood is another material that can be laser engraved, but what exactly is plywood? This material is made by gluing together several pieces of wood. It is often used by cabin builders, builders or industrial designers who rely on plywood's impressive properties such as flexibility, water resistance, mechanical resistance, lightness and aesthetics. This material also has a clean, lightweight surface that is ideal for laser engraving projects. As a lightweight material that doesn't break easily, it's a good choice for assembly projects.
In most cases, plywood is used to give the design a unique yet natural look. Therefore, it is an excellent material for finished products.
Another wood material that can be used is MDF, short for Medium Density Fiberboard. This engineered wood material is made from hardwood or softwood residual fibers, which are then combined with resin binders and waxes. MDF boards are formed when high temperatures and pressures are applied to the fibers. MDF is suitable for sculpting because it creates depth in the material.
Like the material before it, MDF has many impressive properties: it is strong and affordable. Plus, it's easy to post-process as it's waterproof and fireproof, and can be shaped and bent, painted, stained, and stained. MDF is defined by its fine texture and light beige colour.
Cardboard comes from the same source as regular paper and is a rigid and lightweight material. During the production of cardboard planes, embossed or corrugated paper is laminated into sections of different thicknesses. Not only is cardboard recyclable and biodegradable, it is also extremely lightweight and competitively priced. The belief that cardboard is only used for packaging is not true, as it is an excellent choice for prototyping, or for display models in construction. Another benefit of using cardboard is that it is very easy to work with. It can be folded, cut and used with different assembly methods such as glue or staples.
Among metal, glass, plastic and wood, leather is another material that can be laser engraved. for a unique and customized look. The following leather materials are most commonly used: Suede, Alcantra, Natural, Synthetic and Nubuck. Leather is often very hard, which makes laser engraving more attractive since it can be tricky to create visually appealing designs with other tools.
Like glass, almost every metal material can be engraved, with steel, iron, silver, aluminum, gold, and silver being the most common. While glass engraving is most commonly used for promotional purposes, metal engraving is used for promotional and industrial purposes. Aircraft companies will engrave their wings for better aerodynamics, automotive companies use laser engraving to make certain parts, and others engrave barcodes or QR codes on their parts.
POM stands for polyoxymethylene and is an engineering thermoplastic. It is also known as Acetal or Delrin. It is extremely popular due to its excellent mechanical properties, outstanding dimensional stability and strong resistance. POM has a smooth surface, similar to glass.
This material has a variety of properties. Not only is it lightweight and durable, it's also water, weather and solvent resistant. It is often used in industrial tools, spare parts, gears, hinges or locks.
Almost all types of glass can be engraved. With this technology, incredible results can be achieved with cups, wine glasses or bottles or other objects. Especially in the wine industry, laser engraving is often used to give items a more customized look. However, there are a few things to note: Using the correct glass is critical. That's why it's always helpful to test the glass type before the engraving process begins.
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