Many products in our daily life are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a commonly used material due to its bright finish, durability and corrosion resistance. In terms of customizing your own products, there is also a great demand for stainless steel engraving. So how do we sculpt our own ideas?
Stainless steel is very hard, and many laser engravers don't work very well, which is why people are skeptical about engraving with a laser machine. However, if you know the relevant information of the laser engraving machine, you will have a deeper understanding of him. Then you will know that the current high-power laser engraving machine can fully meet our engraving needs.
The principle of laser engraving stainless steel is based on the precise focusing and ablation of the stainless steel surface by a high-energy laser beam. The high energy of the laser beam heats and vaporizes the surface of the stainless steel, creating tiny grooves or patterns that allow scoring. The depth and detail of laser engraving are regulated by laser power, focal length, scanning speed and material properties, thus achieving high-precision and high-quality stainless steel engraving. This temperature only melts the surface of stainless steel, but not enough to vaporize it, because the boiling point has not yet been reached.
Powerful lasers can also instantly oxidize metal surfaces. Due to oxidation, the metal is etched into a certain color. Typically, you will see black marks on the metal, but if the laser is powerful enough and can oxidize the material perfectly, you will see a wider range of colors, making the etch or mark more beautiful.
For stainless steel, no pretreatment is required. You can get a noticeable mark on the surface, but if you want a darker mark, it's better to use a special compound. Usually, it is called metal marking spraying. Apply a thin, even coat of spray to metal. Afterwards, a laser beam reacts with this compound, leaving a more visible dark mark.
How to engrave stainless steel with laser engraving machine?
- Choose a stainless steel material suitable for laser engraving, and make sure it has a clean surface with no dirt, grease or oxide layer. Typically, stainless steel surfaces require chemical cleaning or grinding to ensure the laser can score properly. You can use special laser marking sprays or tapes to enhance the contrast and quality of your marks.
- Use a laser engraving machine with sufficient power, usually a fiber laser engraving machine. Stainless steel generally requires higher power to engrave. Make sure your laser machine can handle stainless steel.
- Create or obtain a design file of what you want to engrave on stainless steel. This can be text, images, logos or other graphics. Make sure to save the design file in a file format compatible with laser machines, such as DXF, AI, or other common vector image formats.
- According to your stainless steel material type and thickness, set the parameters of the laser machine, including power, speed and frequency. These parameters will affect the depth and quality of the engraving.
- Before laser engraving, please ensure you follow all safety guidelines and wear proper personal protective equipment such as goggles and gloves. Make sure the laser machine is in safe working condition.
- Place the stainless steel material on the workbench of the laser machine and make sure it is positioned correctly so that the laser can precisely engrave at the desired position.
- 7. Using the control software of the laser machine, load your prepared design file and position it correctly on the stainless steel surface.
- Start the laser machine and observe how it engraves according to your design file. This process may take some time, depending on the complexity of the design and the speed setting of the machine.
- Once the engraving is complete, carefully remove the stainless steel material, and inspect your work. Make sure the engraving quality is what you expected. You may need to clean the stainless steel surface using an appropriate method to remove any dirt or oxide that may remain.
- Save your laser engraved stainless steel creation and find a suitable display location for it.
Why Atomstack S40 Pro is suitable for stainless steel engraving?
High Power Laser Module: The S40 Pro is equipped with the industry's highest 48W optical power laser module, which means it can provide enough energy to effectively engrave stainless steel. High power laser makes engraving faster and more efficient.
Upgraded compressed spot coupling technology: The laser of S40 Pro adopts upgraded compressed spot coupling technology, which can focus the laser to a very small area, thus increasing the energy density of the laser. This makes it easier to cut and engrave stainless steel.
Laser sintering temperature: The laser of the S40 Pro has a laser sintering temperature up to 3000°C. This means it can generate high enough temperatures when engraving stainless steel to chemically change the surface of the stainless steel to achieve the engraving effect.
Wide Compatibility: S40 Pro supports multiple engraving software, such as LaserGRBL and LightBurn, and different operating systems. This provides users with more flexibility and convenience to meet different engraving needs.
Cutting and engraving mode: Atomstack S40 Pro has the function of switching engraving/cutting mode with one key, and can switch between different working modes according to needs. This makes it suitable for both detailed engraving and more powerful cutting tasks.
When performing any engraving job, proper safety precautions, including wearing goggles and shields, need to be taken to ensure the safety of the operator.