Laser engraving and cutting machines are very powerful. They can evaporate the surface of the material in contact. But the question is whether these machines can engrave metal.
Metals are very hard because their molecules are so close together and their melting temperature is too high. Therefore, it is one of the most frequently asked questions by beginners and users. Many users are often confused by this, and they don't get enough answers or solutions to their problems.
Generally, there are three types of laser machines: diode lasers, CO2 lasers, and fiber lasers. There is no doubt that a fiber laser marking machine can easily engrave and mark metal, and it was made specifically for these purposes. But there are a lot of diode lasers on the market, can they engrave metal?
There are dozens of brands and types of laser machines to choose from, and their capabilities vary widely. Therefore, in this article, our discussion is limited to the ability of the diode laser machine Atomstack S10 Pro to engrave different types of metals. We'll learn how to do metal engraving, what metals can be engraved, and what you need to do to get the best results.
What is the difference between engraving and marking?
Before we know if the S10 Pro can engrave on metal, we should understand the difference between laser engraving and marking.
Laser engraving refers to the vaporization of material when it comes into contact with a laser beam. The material evaporates immediately and the object is engraved immediately. The depth of the engraving is visible and easy to feel.
Marking, on the other hand, refers to creating a mark on the surface of an object. The depth is small and inconspicuous.
Metals can be marked or engraved, depending on the power of the laser machine whether engraving or just marking. If the power is low, only marking can be done.
Can you engrave metal with a diode laser?
The ATOMSTACK S10 Pro laser engraver is a diode laser, but it's quite powerful compared to other lasers on the market. Diode modules use multiple laser sources and then combine the laser beams from these sources into a powerful laser. So the output is very huge and powerful.
Best of all, you can engrave and mark metal with the S10 Pro. But for best results, it's best to use additional chemicals that help engrave and provide better results.
You can apply dry molybdenum lube to the metal before engraving. When an even layer of lubricant is applied to the metal, it reacts with the laser beam. The laser raises the temperature of the lubricating oil, and the reaction takes place on the metal surface. The lubricant reacts with the metal and produces a darker color and visible engraving/marking.
The S10 Pro is a versatile laser engraving and cutting machine. There are two laser modules to choose from: 10W and 20W, both of which can be attached to the machine with any modification.
The 10W module can easily mark different metals such as copper, brass, mild steel and stainless steel. The depth will be minimal, but the marks will be visible if you lubricate first. On stainless steel, just one pass is enough to get a perfect mark. On other metals you may need to do 3-5 passes, this is only feasible if the figure size is small.
The 20W module, the most powerful diode laser module in the world, is excellent. It is more intense and can easily be engraved on the metal once or a few times. It's great for saving time and for engraving metal. After engraving stainless steel, you can easily feel the texture of the engraved area.
Note that safety precautions are required before engraving a piece of metal, whether you are a beginner or an expert.
Remember that metals are shiny, so they can reflect laser beams, which can be very harmful. Therefore, the machine should be inside the enclosure to prevent any injury. Second, since the laser beam can also land on combustible materials, there is the potential for fire.
Second, it is necessary to let the lube dry, because when drying, volatile compounds are released from the lubricating oil, and they can contribute to a fire.