Laser cutting is a process that involves cutting material with a focused laser beam. Therefore, it is suitable for creating customizable patterns, shapes and designs on workpieces. Like any other laser marking process, it is non-contact, i.e. the machine does not come into direct contact with the material. However, laser beams can cut material by melting, vaporizing or burning parts.
What is laser engraving?
Laser engraving is another laser marking method that involves using a laser beam to engrave pictures and designs on objects in the form of images, barcodes, serial numbers, etc. Atomstack Laser engravers provide permanent marking by vaporizing the desired portion of the object. They are compatible with wood, plastic, coated metal and leather.
The difference between laser cutting and laser engraving
Both processes are grouped under the laser marking program. This is because they use a laser marker to produce a beam of light that can vaporize some or all of the product. Although similar, here are some of the differences between laser cutting and laser engraving:
· Cutting principle
Laser cutting involves the use of a laser beam to cut through the entire thickness of a material through melting, combustion and vaporization. Most cuts are perfect. Therefore, they do not require a second touch-up. Laser engraving, on the other hand, involves cutting to the desired depth without cutting the full thickness. Thus, the engraving material evaporates only its surface to the desired depth.
· Laser power
One of the most important differences in the laser cutting versus laser engraving process is based on the machine used. Here, laser power is a decisive parameter. On the one hand, a laser cutting machine is a machine with a laser power above 60W. High power is important for cutting, although it depends on the type and thickness of the material. On the other hand, the laser power of the laser engraver is lower than 60W.
The difference in laser power also restricts the types of laser machines compatible with the process. For example, most laser cutters are fiber optic or CO2 laser markers. However, laser engravers can include other laser marking machines, such as UV or green lasers.