A quick tour around a local company will reveal that not all enterprises are continuing to rely on printed signs, plaques and nameplates to alert their employees and clients. Many are now deciding to side with engraving, which allows snippets of information to be etched onto more professional looking materials, like plastic, metal, wood, glass and perspex.
Around 10 years ago all of this work would have been carried out by a hand engraver. However, once again, innovations in equipment and technology have changed the way that details are transferred onto the application.
Laser marking is a service currently being pushed by engraving firms and, after viewing the results, an increasing amount of businesses are now deciding to upgrade their various signs and notices. If you’re new to this form of engraving, a laser mark carries the appearance of a vinyl transfer from a distance. This is mainly because people assume that an elaborate design can only be applied through the use of an adhesive. On a closer look, however, the details blend subtly into the surface. Here’s how this done..
How It Works
By definition, laser engraving is light amplification, stimulated by the emission of radiation. A channelled light is amplified through the use of strategically placed mirrors then directed onto the pathway programmed into the machinery. The lasers are used to vaporise the area and remove the material as it covers the surface.
Although the laser applies the graphic or text, it’s actually the mirrors that let the energised light through. An opening in the plates will determine the size of the font or design element, which can shrink to the size of a sharpened pencil tip if required. Due to the this, even the smallest pieces of stationary can sport a personalized touch.
Furthermore, due to the precision of laser engraving, it’s ideal for bulk orders which require thousands of duplicate designs.
Of course, you don’t have to be a CEO to obtain your own personalised equipment. Along with plaques, nameplates, promotional merchandise and work signs, any personal devices like iPads and smartphones can also feature specific designs. In fact, anything cased in plastic or metal can sport an address, company logo or even a tribal graphic.
All that’s usually required is a submission from e individual. The proposal can come in the form of a pdf, eps or jpeg file which can be used to create the artwork. The text and images are then reproduced in a design studio or through the use of laser marking equipment.
As aforementioned, plastic and metal are two of the most suitable materials from an engraver’s perspective, but you might also have seen glass awards featuring white laser marking. Of course, awards used to come in the form of a trophy with manual engraving used to state the winner; a sign of times indeed.
Wood and stainless steel – commonly used to create plaques - are also popular, as too is brass. In addition, laser marking can also be used on flexible, cloth-based materials when stretched, such as denim and leather.
Still, whatever the material or requirement, individuals are often swayed by the outstanding finish and durability offered by laser marking. Manual engraving simply cannot replicate designs in the same way that a laser can, while print - used for signs and notices - is often viewed as a temporary measure. Due to this, much like the markings it produces, laser engraving looks set to stay.
About the Author | Steve Millard loves creating and sharing his ideas with the world. A tech graduate driven by his passion started writing about his creative and playful mind and has a series of articles on the printing technology. The latest of his writings is Laser marking. Want to know more visit – Finecut.