Personalized gifts or items are the most loved and appreciated. Who would not swoon over a beautiful pen personalized with your initials engraved on it or a keychain that has a memorable date and time engraved for you? Since consumers love this personalized touch, the businesses have included laser engravers as a necessity in their production processes.
What is a Laser Engraver?
Often, laser engravers and cutters are considered to be the same machines. This is true for most of the part because usually, most laser cutters also work as engravers. Depending on their primary function, the manufacturers sometimes use either of these two different labels for their machines.
What Entails The Process of Laser Engraving?
Laser engravers typically work with software that processes a picture format. The process of engraving using a laser engraver mainly entails processing a picture that you select and specify. Various laser engravers models support a wide array of picture formats, such as a JPG or PNG. Also, as there are countless materials you can engrave, most laser engravers specify the materials they can work with.
Following the processing of the picture, the laser engraver slides horizontally on the chosen material while imitating the design in the picture. The engraving is done line by line in a horizontal motion.
How to Find the Right Laser Engraving Machine?
Now that you are all caught up on how the laser engraving process works, let’s jump in and start looking out for a good and dependable desktop laser engraver for your task. You cannot just decide to buy a laser engraver and immediately get one the next day. The purchase process should be thorough and carried out after a detailed analysis of the various brands and important points to consider.
So, take note and remember the following points before you consider finalizing a purchase.
1. What Is It That You Want To Do With The Laser Engraver?
Laser engravers come in a wide variety, depending on their use. They might range from $200 to a staggering $10,000! Therefore, investing in a laser engraver should be given as much thought as any other valuable investment. The first and foremost point to consider is to determine the use of the engraver.
A need-guided purchase will make your choice better. You will be more focused on what type of laser engraver you need to buy. There are countless options of laser engravers for you to choose from – some work only with metals while others also work well with non-metals. If you are clear about the use of laser engravers in your life, your choice will automatically become better.
2. Materials to Be Engraved
Not all laser engravers are meant for all the materials. Some of these machines can only engrave soft materials such as plastics or leathers, while others can leave high-quality engravements on wood and metals. It becomes a lot easier to narrow down your options if you determine the materials you will be engraving.
3. Size of the Sheet Material
It is also very crucial to decide the size of the laser engraver you want. Laser engravers come in a wide variety of sizes – ranging from super large ones for industrial use to mini desktop ones that can fit on a desk in your workshop. The rule of thumb is to get a laser engraver that has the engraving bed larger than the piece you will be engraving. This also helps in reducing the running costs of the machine as placing smaller items on a large engraving surface will surely enhance the production speed.
Though the budget should not be the only factor to consider, it is crucial to look collectively at the budget and the requirements. Owning a small business does not mean you need to get only industrial-sized laser engravers. You can also find less pricey laser engraving machines performing as optimally as any large machine.
Therefore, it is not all about the budget. However, it is very important to thoroughly calculate all the costs and expenses before divulging into any purchase. You should keep in mind that there will be times when your machine will be sitting idle and taking up space in your workshop.
5. Replacement Parts
No machine guarantees to work tirelessly without having a glitch or a breakdown. Nevertheless, machines whose parts are readily available are easier to maintain. Replacing parts becomes a hassle and often impossible, resulting in investing in a new one if the spare parts are not available.
Therefore, one of the important considerations is to look for a laser engraving machine that is locally made. Even if you go for an international brand, make sure to check and ask around if its spare parts are available around you.
Some high-tech engraving machines are very difficult to maintain. They might require a certain temperature to work on or something else. This makes them quite challenging to maintain for use at homes or by small business owners. Look for the laser engravers that offer tech support. Also, several models of laser engravers come with a built-in fan to cool off the machine. This is one example of a low-maintenance machine.
If you are investing a large sum of money in a laser engraver and it fails to do a precise job, then your time and money are wasted. Hence, it is important to consider how accurate the laser engraver is. Following are some of the points that can help you determine how accurate a laser engraving machine is:
- Engraving accuracy is directly related to the transmission methods used by the engraving machines – which mainly entail lead screw drive and rack gear. A lead screw drive that is higher than the rack gear is very important in determining the engraving machine’s accuracy and precision.
- Assembling technique and proficiency also have a significant impact on the accuracy of the engraving machine.
- Higher spindle power is also one of the main determinants of engraving accuracy.
- A square-shaped engraving area of the machine is usually known to produce more accurate engraving than the round or compass ones.
Best Desktop Laser Engravers
If you are looking for a high-performance portable laser engraving machine, then this model by Reaying is the best suited for your needs. It offers a stable engraving area of about 110x110mm. The laser module has a life of more than 100,000 hours. It is compatible with various picture formats and software.
Doubling as a 3D printer, this one is the perfect desktop-size laser engraving machine by Innoza. It has amazingly accurate positioning and engraving range. Moreover, the engraver comes with a 300mW power that is suitable for engraving from various angles and positioning. It can carve many materials, such as wood, plastic, IC card, acrylic, bamboo, etc.
If you are into logo carving and looking for something that does the job perfectly without burning a hole in your pocket, then this NEJE Master high-powered 7W laser engraving machine is the best deal. It allows wireless control and supports numerous devices, such as android and Apple phones and tablets.
This machine can engrave fast and deep (up to 1.5mm). It works well with wood and other materials.
This mini laser engraver can be used while connected to any mobile device by a USB cable. It is a high-power engraving machine that also provides you 3D printing. Furthermore, it can also be used wirelessly and offers about 7.8mm deep cutting.
It has a sturdy engraving area that helps get the job done without any hassles. You can easily use this engraving machine to carve on wood, bamboo, IC card, cardboard, etc.
This compact and portable laser engraver is the best buy at the most affordable price. It has a mechanism where it makes it extremely easy for you to locate the engraved position. It does employ an easy start system as well that only requires you to connect the LaserPecker app and let it run using a powerbank and you can instantly upload and edit any pattern-in app.
The engraver has a sleek and attractive design that makes it look stylish. Moreover, this portable engraver has a Preview Mode that helps in efficient logo engraving and other complex engraving projects.
Investing in Desktop Laser Engravers
In today’s era, laser engraving has become a norm for almost all businesses as they are using engraving in one way or another. Creative designing and carving enhance the value of a product and make it stand out compared to others. So, if you have decided to invest in a laser engraving machine, it is highly recommended for first time buyerswho cannot afford the industrial-sized machines to go for desktop-size or mini models.