How laser engraving on leather works is the basic principle of laser engraving, and this is the same for any compatible material you engrave.
The intense laser beam immediately raises the temperature of the material. The temperature rises to the vaporization temperature, which is the temperature at which the material begins to turn into steam. Having said that, molecules or particles from the surface start to evaporate.
In laser engraving, a sublimation process occurs, i.e. a direct change from a solid state to a gaseous state. So you will only see smoke or gas when carving any material.
Likewise, the leather is also laser engraved. A powerful laser beam hits the surface and shoots out temperature rapidly. After sculpting, you will see a clearly visible bump effect on the surface, which looks like 3D. Also, you can feel the chiseling of the material by touch as the particles have been removed from the surface.
After laser engraving, you will see a natural contrast between the engraved and non-engraved areas. Engraved areas are darkened due to burning or high temperature.Therefore, the engraving is clearly visible in the light leather.
The best leather for laser engraving Laser engraving leather is not as easy as it seems; it is a material with a high degree of uncertainty because you cannot expect results. Even if you use leather from the same source, the same results are not guaranteed. It is an organic material; therefore, the density varies widely.
Having said that, even if you know the type of each leather, you can't apply the same power and speed settings to every leather. You'll need to run a speed and power test to determine the best settings.
The best carved leather is natural leather obtained from animals. Most of these leathers are very suitable for laser engraving. You can use leather made from cowhide, lambskin, deerskin, sheepskin, etc.
You may have heard of types of leather such as full grain leather and top grain leather. Full grain leather is the highest quality leather you can find. It contains natural grains present on the skin. But remember, it's thick.
The next option is the second best quality top grain leather. It's also leather, but the top layer is sanded to remove blemishes.
Then there is the corrected grain leather, the reformation, and finally the bonded leather made from leftovers.
All these types of leather can be used for laser engraving. But again, you need to run a power and speed test before you start.
Synthetic leathers like faux and suede can also be laser engraved. There is one limitation though; you cannot laser engrave any leather containing PVC or vinyl. PVC produces harmful hydrochloric acid fumes that are very dangerous to your health and the health of others in the area. In addition, eel skin should be avoided as it produces a strong, long-lasting smell.
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Laser engraving is a popular option that provides a permanent and legible marking on an object through etching, ablation, or deep laser engraving. It is similar to laser marking, but the resulting appearance differs due to the depth of laser penetration.
Laser engraving is commonly used to create permanent serial markings on substrates made of: Metal, Wood, Plastic, Leather.
Benefits Of Laser Engraving Over Traditional Processes
Compared to manual engraving:
Minimally Invasive: Laser engraving can be performed at a range of depths without any direct contact at all. Surface marks can even be done on stainless steel with no depth. Overall, lasers are less damaging than manual engraving and keep the substrate material’s physical integrity intact.
Precise: Lasers provide a level of control that’s impossible to achieve manually. Compared to hand-engraving, the process is swift, clean, and highly repeatable, with little room for human error.
Versatile: A single laser engraving machine can be used to create a host of different designs with only minimal calibration. They can also produce exceptionally complex patterns.
Affordable: On average, laser devices last longer than other engraving machines and require less maintenance, resulting in savings that can be passed along to the consumer.
Fast: Lasers can be programmed to render virtually any design in a matter of moments. Because the process is automated, it’s easy to scale production runs as needed according to demand.
Long-Lasting: Laser-engraved designs are permanent but can wear over time, depending on the substrate material that’s used. Soft metals, for example, may experience more signs of wear than hardwood. In general, however, laser-engraved designs tend to have a longer lifespan compared to other engraving methods.