Laser engravershave various applications in the manufacturing industry for laser marking and cutting materials. Desktop Laser engraving machines have applications for marking on wood, glass, metal, or leather. Type of material laser can engrave depends on the type of laser engraving machine available to you. This article covers various types of Laser engraving machines, their applications, and How to select them?
Don’t miss this article on the difference between laser marking vs engraving vs etching.
What Material Can be Laser Engraved ?
Laser engravers can cut, etch, mark or engrave the following materials.
- Metals such as Aluminum, stainless steel, copper, etc.
- Thermoplastics such as ABS, PC, etc.
- Coated metals
- Wood Parts
- Acrylic and glass
- Paper and cardboard
Applications of Laser Engraving
Laser engraving is extensively used in the manufacturing industry and by hobbyists for marking and cutting materials. Compared to stickers, screen printing, or pad printing, laser marking has the advantage of printing variable information at a low cost. Here are the applications of laser engraving in manufacturing:
- Marking variable and fixed information such as QR code, Serial number, Mac ID on products.
- Mark brand name or logo on products.
- Used to create artwork on jewelry (Gold and Silver).
- Marking on printed circuit board (PCB).
- Artwork printing: Printing photographs on acrylic.
Selection of Laser Engraver Machines
Various types of Laser engraving machines are available in the market. Each type of laser engraver machine has its advantages and limitations. Therefore before purchasing, it is always recommended to analyze engraving machines on the following parameters.
Bed Size (Engraving Area)
Laser engraving machines are available in various engraving area options. The engraving area is the maximum area where a laser engraver can print in one go. Bed size selection is done according to the part maximum printing area.
Materials to be Engraved
Laser engraving machines come with different technology and power options. One machine can not print all materials. Therefore it is always recommended to check machine capability to engrave the type of material before buying the machine.
Cycle Time and Speed
How frequently you want to engrave your parts has a direct impact on your machine selection. For example, laser engraving machines for production are very costly ($ 15000). Whereas for the home you can buy it for approx. $500.
Laser Engraving Machine Technology Available
Following technologies are used in Laser engraving machines to engrave a material. Each of these technologies has its advantages, limitations, and applications.
- Fiber-Based Laser Engraving Machine: These machines can engrave metal, anodized aluminum, and Plastic material.
- CO2 Based Laser Engraver: Used for engraving jewelry, rubber stamps, nameplate, rating plate, and thermoplastic materials, etc.
- Green Laser Engraving Machines: Green laser engraver can mark on reflective materials (copper, silver, and gold), plastic materials, glass, and ceramic.
- Hybrid Laser Engraving Machines: These machines can engrave organic materials and metals.
Best Laser Engraver Machines
We recommend you discuss your application with the machine manufacturer before the selection of a laser engraver machine for your application. Having a detailed discussion with the manufacturer is the best way to select the machine. Here are some of the best affordable laser engraving machines available in the market.
|Laser Engraver||Bed Size (mm)||Laser Type||Laser Power||Price|
|Snapmaker 3-in-1 3D Printer||125x125||Blue Laser Diode||200mw||~$800|
|Cubiio Laser Engraver||100x100||Blue Laser Diode||1600mw||~$560|
|Morphon 40W Laser Engraver||200 x 300||CO2||40w||-|
|Qiilu 1500mw Mini||42x42||CO2||1500mw||~|
|NEJE MASTER 3500mW||150 x 150||CO2||3500mw||~$220|
|Emblaser 2||500x300x50||Solid State Diode||-||~$2500|
|Insma Laser Engraver||80x80||CO2||3000mW||$80|
|TEN-HIGH Laser Engraver||300x500||CO2||50w||$2000|
|Comgo Z1 Laser Engraving DIY Machine||400x400||Diode Laser||5W LD+FAC=40W||$259|
Snapmaker 3-in-1 Engraver and Printer: Best laser engraver for beginners
Snapmaker is a complete metal open design. This is one of the best budget laser engraver for beignners if you are looking for a 3D printer, CNC Carving, and Laser Engraving. With this one device, you can do 3D printing, CNC Carving, and Laser Engraving.
Work Area: 125 x 125 mm
Laser Type: Blue Laser Diode
Laser Power: 200mW
Supported File Types: SVG, JPEG, PNG, etc.
Supported Materials: Wood, bamboo, leather, plastic, fabric, paper, non-transparent acrylic, etc.
Click Here for More Details on Snapmaker 3-in-1 Engraver and Printer.
Cubiio Laser Engraver: A Portable Laser Engraving Machine
Cubiio is a portable laser engraver that you can control remotely with a smartphone. As claimed, this is the first laser cube started as a Kickstarter Project. Apart from engraving, it can also cut materials up to a limited thickness.
Cubiio Laser engraver features
Work Area: 100 x 100 mm
Laser Type: Blue Laser Diode
Laser Power: 1600mW Adjustable
Supported File Types: G-CODE, BMP.
Connected: Yes Through BLE
Supported Materials For Engraving: Paper Board, Cardboard, Fabric, Leather, Felt, Wood, and non-transparent acrylic
Supported Materials For Cutting (up to limited thickness):Paper Board, Cardboard, Fabric, Leather, Felt, Wood, non-transparent acrylic
Click Here for More Details on Cubiio Laser Engraver.
Morphon 40w Laser Engraver
It is a low cost DIY Laser engraving machine.
Work Area:200 x 300 mm
Laser Power: 40w
Supported File Types:Corel Draw
Connected:Through USB Port
Supported Materials For Engraving :Bamboo piece, double-color planks, boulder, horns, Leather, crystal, wood, organic plastic, abrics, paper ,film, canvas , acrylic, and plastics.
Qiilu 1500mW Mini
This Laser engraver is a high-power laser engraving machine that can be controlled by a laptop or smartphone.
Carving Space:42 x 42 x 78 mm
Laser Power: 1500mw
Image Resolution: 550 x 550 px
Connected: Through USB Port and Smartphone Bluetooth
Supported Materials For Engraving: Wood, Plastic(fire-proof material not included), Acrylic, Bamboo, Rubber, Leather, Paper and other flammable materials
NEJE Master 3500mW
Its a low-cost affordable open structure Laser engraver machine.
Work Space: 150 x 150 mm
Laser Power: 3500mw
Image Resolution:2000 x 2000 pixels.
Supported File Type: nc, dxf, bmp, jpg, png
Connected:Through USB Port and Smartphone Bluetooth
Supported Materials For Engraving: Acrylic, Aluminum, Stainless Steel
Emblaster 2: IoT enabled 3D Laser Cutting and Engraving Machine
This is one of the advanced IoT-enabled 3D laser cutters and engravers with a relatively large bed area. It comes with an in-built camera for material alignment.
Work Space: 500 x 300 x 50 mm
Laser Type: Class I Solid State Diode Laser
Laser Power: Equivalent to 15-20w CO2 laser.
Supported File Type : .nc, .dxf, .bmp, .jpg, .png
Connected: WiFi and USB
Supported Materials For Engraving: Cotton Fabric, Leather, Corrugated Cardboard, Acrylic (except transparent), Plywood, Balsa, Anodised Aluminium, Corkboard, Rubber.
Other Features:Automatic Laser Optic Calibration, Laser Height Set, and Control Built-in Camera.
Insma Laser Engraver 3000mW: Laser Engraving Machine for Beginners
This is a low cost laser engraver machine for beginners.
Work Space: 80 x 80 mm
Laser Type: CO2
Laser Power: 3000mw
Supported File Type: JPEG, JPG, PNG, BMP
Supported Materials For Engraving: Wood, Paper, Plastic Leather, and non-transparent acrylic.
TEN-HIGH Laser Engraver: Best laser engraver for Professionals
This is a high-power laser engraver that can be used to engrave metal and plastics with relatively good quality.
Work Space: 300 x 500 mm
Laser Power: 50W
Supported File Type: Corel Draw, bmp, dib, jpg, jpeg, png, gif, wmf, emf, pcx, tif, tiff etc.
Supported Materials For Engraving:Organics or non-metal materials such as acrylic, plywood, density board, leather, wood, double color plate, glass, cloth, bamboo, paper, etc.
The COMGO Z1 Laser Engraver has an open work area of 400 x 400 mm (15.7 x 15.7in). This can be used with materials such as aluminum(like 7075-T6), plywood, EVA foam, leather, plastic, cardboard, wood, non-woven fabric, bamboo, acrylic, film-coated glass, etc.
It comes as a pre-assembled kit. All you have to do is put four profiles together and start creating neat engraved things in 15 minutes. It’s a wonderful tool for a woodworking hobbyist.
Work Space: 400 x 400 mm
Laser Type: Diode laser with LD+FAC
Laser Power: 5W LD+FAC=40W
Supported File Type:jpg, jpeg, bmp, Gcode
Supported Materials For Engraving:aluminum(like 7075-T6), plywood, EVA foam, leather, plastic, cardboard, wood, non-woven fabric, bamboo, acrylic, film-coated glass
To sum up, Laser engraving machines are widely used for marking organic and nonorganic parts. Nowadays this technology has become so affordable that even hobbyists can buy desktop laser engravers for home use.
We will keep updating this article on the best affordable laser engraving machines available. You can ask questions and give suggestions on laser engraver by sending a message in the comment box. We will do our best to add it to this post.
We suggest you check out this article on the best affordable laser cutters.
Do cheap laser engravers work? ›
The biggest drawback of the cheap laser engravers is low power of the laser module. This means it will engrave and laser cut much slower than more powerful machines. If you want to engrave a lot of items or engrave/cut big designs, this could mean it will take significantly more time to do the same job.How much does a decent laser engraver cost? ›
Budget. The price for an ideal cutter and engraver may be anywhere from $100 to $10,000 (or more for industrial models). The general rule is that the more expensive the unit is, the higher its laser power and therefore the better it can cut through materials.How do I choose a laser engraver? ›
- The Type of Materials for Engraving. The materials you work with will determine the laser engraver to buy. ...
- The Level of Accuracy. ...
- Maintenance. ...
- The Replacement Parts. ...
- Your Budget. ...
- It is Reliable. ...
- It is Safe. ...
- It is Eco-Friendly.
- Size, power, focus. While Epilog sells fiber lasers, especially appropriate for marking metals, this article will focus on CO2 units. ...
- Software. ...
- Service and setup. ...
- Safety and work environment. ...
- Epilog: U.S.-based laser pioneers since 1988.
The long answer is this: I would not recommend anyone start with less than 25 watts. A 25-35 watt laser will engrave all the coated metals on the market, and cut and engrave most of the plastics up to 1/8” thick. It can cut thicker materials but it might take multiple passes.What wattage laser engraver should I buy? ›
If you'll be using the laser primarily for engraving, the best results may be achieved with a laser power of between 25 to 80 watts. In order to maximise productivity when laser cutting, when speed is paramount, we suggest a laser power of in excess of 80 watts.Is a laser engraver worth it? ›
Laser engravers are extremely useful because of the variety of materials that they can engrave. You should think about the different projects that you will be working on and the materials that you are engraving before you choose which laser engraver you wish to purchase.What should you not laser engrave? ›
- Leather and artificial leather that contains chromium (VI)
- Carbon fibers (Carbon)
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Polyvinyl butyrale (PVB)
- Polytetrafluoroethylenes (PTFE /Teflon)
- Beryllium oxide.
To get started with your laser machine, you'll also need a computer, a graphics software program, an exhaust setup, and any machine accessories you choose. Laser cutting/engraving systems range from $9,995 to around $73,000 (U.S. pricing) based on the size of the engraving table and wattage of the laser.What can a 40w laser engrave? ›
For engraving, you'll easily be able to use wood, leather, paper, cardboard, acrylic, glass, and coated metal. For cutting, the K40 will be able to go through wood, leather, paper, cardboard, and acrylic.
What is the difference between a 5W and 10W laser engraver? ›
: The main difference between these two models is the power of the laser module. 10W model supports more engraving materials, finer engraving, and faster engraving speed compared to the 5W model.How long do laser engravers last? ›
It will take longer to engrave a particular job than it did when the laser tube was new. As your laser ages past the five year mark, and especially at about seven or eight years, it's not uncommon to experience a breakdown due to a major component failure.Which type of laser machine is best? ›
Candela is one of the best laser machines available. It uses two different wavelengths of light, Alexandrite and ND:YAG. This means that Candela is ideal to treat different hair types and different skin types.Which laser is easiest to see? ›
Overall, green laser levels are more visible to the human eye and will have some extended range over red lasers, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's always a better choice.What are 2 things you should do before you use a laser level? ›
Before you can use a laser level, you need to connect a compatible battery to the device according to the instructions that came with it. Then, you need to determine where you want to place the laser level tripod, and make sure the ground is dry so it doesn't move away from the desired position.What can a 10 watt laser engrave? ›
WHAT IS THE 10 watt DIODE LASER GOOD FOR? Engraves on steel, stainless steel, polished & anodized aluminum, [copper & brass] (with a special paste). Cuts 4-5 mm (1/5'') wood and plywood / laserply 1-3 passes.What can a 5.5 watt laser engrave? ›
A 5.5-5.6 watt (5500-5600 mw) laser is a plug-and-play device. With this laser, you can engrave and cut a variety of materials such as plywood/wood, MDF / balsa, аcrylic, PLA / ABS, felt / fabric, paper/cardboard, hardboard, stone, glass, anodized and painted aluminum, and more.Is laser engraving hard to learn? ›
It might seem like a complex, in-depth, hyper-involved process, but it's actually very simple. I'll discuss the basics of laser engraving and show you why they make every gift so much more special.What is the difference between 10W and 20W laser engraver? ›
We tested the 20W and 10W modules to compare the time taken. Surprisingly, the 20W module cut the square in 1 minute 1 second, while the 10W laser took 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Thus, the 20W laser module can significantly improve the efficiency up to 250%.What can a 100W laser engrave? ›
This 100W CO2 laser engraver is a ideal product to process wood, bamboo, plexiglass, crystal, leather, rubber, marble, ceramics and glass. Please notice that metal materials are excluded. It is a suitable and the preferred choice of equipments in industries such as advertisement, gifts, shoes, toys and etc.
What can a 1000W laser cut? ›
1000W fiber laser cutting machine is used to cut 6mm thick carbon steel with a maximum cutting speed of 1.4m per minute.How do I choose a laser? ›
- Application. ...
- Colors of light produced. ...
- For superior visibility – buy green laser pointers. ...
- Output power. ...
- Burning ability. ...
- Design features.
Only in Diode lasers, where electrical energy is directly transformed into laser radiation, it is possible to achieve high efficiency. Such high efficiency is the reason why not much energy is wasted in Diode lasers, and they can operate without special cooling mechanisms.
At least 50 watts of Fiber laser power is recommended for metal laser cutting or engraving. Forty or 50 Watts of Fiber laser power can be used for direct laser marking metals.What do I need to know about laser engraver? ›
Laser engraving is a process that vaporizes materials into fumes to engrave permanent, deep marks. The laser beam acts as a chisel, incising marks by removing layers from the surface of the material. The laser hits localized areas with massive levels of energy to generate the high heat required for vaporization.Can you make money doing laser engraving? ›
Laser engraving businesses can be very lucrative, provided you're willing to work hard and go through the due process. Just like any business, the laser engraving industry isn't giving money away.What are four disadvantages using the laser cutter? ›
Laser cutting disadvantages include: limitations on material thickness, harmful gases and fumes, high energy consumption, and upfront costs.Should you wet wood before laser engraving? ›
DAMPENING THE WOOD BEFORE LASER CUTTING
Burn marks are caused by excessive heat, and moisture helps the wood remain cool while absorbing the laser energy. Soaking your wood in water is just another method to laser engrave wood without burning.
Make sure that you stain and clear coat your wood before engraving.Should I sand wood before laser engraving? ›
Your project should be finish sanded and sealed before laser engraving. Sealing is necessary to prevent smoke staining of the wood, unless this is an effect you desire. After engraving, you may LIGHTLY sand the surface and then apply your final finish coats which will also seal the engraving.
Is a Cricut a laser engraver? ›
No, a Cricut is not a laser cutter. However, the two cutting machines work in similar ways. A Cricut machine is a cutting plotter that uses a computer-controlled blade to cut shapes out of thin materials.Can a laser engraver print on paper? ›
All types of paper based materials can be processed by laser cutting, engraving, and marking.How thick of wood can a 40 watt laser cut? ›
Thickness: Generally, a 40W to 45W CO2 laser like the Muse Core or 3D autofocus can cut up to ¼ “ thick wood, while a laser such as the P-Series PS24 or Muse Titan with a 90W Tube can cut up to ½” thick wood.How thick wood can a 60W laser cut? ›
60W Laser. You can typically cut up to 8mm acrylic, up to 8mm soft woods using a 60w laser.Can a 40W laser cut acrylic? ›
CO2 lasers are a better option for acrylic laser cutting. They are more powerful and can easily cut thick acrylic sheets in one pass. A 40W can CO2 laser machine can cut up to 20 mm thick acrylic or sometimes even more.What is the easiest wood to laser cut? ›
In general, the best woods for laser cutting are Basswood, White Pine, Alder, Cherry, Oak, Baltic Birch Plywood, Balsa and Cork. Most laser cutters prefer soft woods that do not have a distorted, tight hard grain pattern.How powerful of a laser do you need to cut wood? ›
For hobby and professional use, you'll be looking within the range of 30 to 120 W. Any wattage power will be able to mark, engrave, or cut wood. Choosing a higher power wattage simply means that the machine can cut thicker or denser wood faster.What is a good wood to engrave? ›
Make Alder your top choice for laser engraving projects. Cherry – A blonde cherry wood has a high resin content and is typically light in color. Although it has high levels of streaking, cherry is still an excellent choice for many laser etching projects. Maple – This is an excellent wood for engraving photos.How many watts is a strong laser? ›
A laser's power is measured in Milli-Watts (mW) and typically are ranged from 5mW all the way to 1,000mW or 1 Watt. The higher the output of a laser power the brighter it will be, the greater distance it will be visible for, and the greater the burning ability (when over 200mW).How many watts is a powerful laser? ›
At 10 petawatts, which is 10 quadrillion watts, the laser is powerful enough to vaporize solid matter.
Can a 10 watt laser engrave glass? ›
If you're like me, you would never think that a 10W blue diode laser can engrave on a glass. Surely the melting point of the glass is way higher than what this laser can achieve. And yes, the melting point is higher, but still, you can actually engrave on glass quite easily.Can you make money with a cheap laser engraver? ›
Undoubtedly, you can make money with a laser engraver. Nowadays, laser engraving is in great demand and being used for multiple purposes. It is an excellent business idea that beginners can start with low investment. There is a massive market for laser engraving.How much does a good laser engraver cost? ›
Some brands that manufacture good entry-level diode laser engravers are NEJE, Laser Pecker, Ortur, Comgrow, and Zeus Lasers. Entry-level diode laser engravers can cost anywhere between $150 - $500.Is it worth buying a laser engraver? ›
Laser engravers are extremely useful because of the variety of materials that they can engrave. You should think about the different projects that you will be working on and the materials that you are engraving before you choose which laser engraver you wish to purchase.Why are laser engravers so expensive? ›
This massive difference in equipment cost is reflected by the significant difference in equipment quality, functionality, and performance. For example: High-end units typically contain durable parts that won't break down easily and powerful lasers that can cut through a variety of materials precisely and quickly.What wattage is best for laser engraving? ›
At least 50 watts of Fiber laser power is recommended for metal laser cutting or engraving. Forty or 50 Watts of Fiber laser power can be used for direct laser marking metals. Twenty-five to 150 Watts of CO2 laser power is recommended for direct marking of metals.Will laser engraving wear off? ›
Yes, laser etching is permanent. A laser etched mark will remain readable for the part's useful life with better readability than other direct part marking technologies.What can a 5 watt laser engrave? ›
With this laser, you can engrave and cut a variety of materials such as plywood/wood, MDF / balsa, аcrylic, PLA / ABS, felt / fabric, paper/cardboard, hardboard, stone, glass, anodized and painted aluminum, and more.What is the difference between laser etch and laser engrave? ›
The main difference between laser etching and laser engraving is that etching melts the micro surface to create raised marks, whereas engraving removes material to create deep marks. Both processes use high heat to create permanent markings on metal surfaces. Both processes are heavily used for part traceability.Do I need an enclosure for laser engraver? ›
As a proud owner of a laser engraver, you should know that an enclosure is an important part of using your equipment safely and effectively. Enclosures help protect the user from harmful light and smoke and they also help prolong the life of your laser engraver by keeping it clean and free of dust and other debris.
How often should I clean my laser engraver? ›
Clean and lubricate the X-axis linear rail of laser engraver with 0.1ml grease from syringe every two weeks to maintain the motion system properly. Always clean and lubricate the X-axis and Y-axis rails after working with materials that produce lots of debris (such as wood).Does laser engrave rust? ›
Laser Engraving Stainless Steel Leads to Corrosion
In fact, any method that digs markings on the surface (deep or shallow) will remove this layer. This thin protective layer is composed of chromium oxide. Chromium oxide is formed naturally when chromium reacts with oxygen.
You can color laser engrave stainless steel, titanium, and other metals. These can be colored engraved directly without the need for a coloring agent. Mostly, fiber laser engraver are used for engraving metals because they are specially made for metal marking.