Laser cutting and laser engraving – What is the different?

Laser Cutting & Laser Engraving are two uses of laser technology, which now an indispensable processing method in automated production. They are widely used in various industries and fields, such as automotive, aviation, filtration, sportswear, industrial materials, digital labels, leather & shoes, fashion & clothing, advertising, etc. This article wants to help you answer: What is the different of laser cutting and engraving, and how do they work?

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Laser Cutting:

Laser Cutting is a digital subtractive fabrication technique that consists of cutting or engraving a material by means of a laser. Laser Cutting can be used on a number of materials such as textile, leather, plastic, wood, acrylic, paper, cardboard, etc. The process involves cutting material using a powerful and highly accurate laser that focuses on a small area of the material. The high power density results in rapid heating, melting and partial or complete vaporizing of the material. Usually, a computer directs the high-power laser at the material and traces the path.

Laser Engraving:

Laser Engraving (or Laser Etching) is a subtractive manufacturing method, that uses a laser beam to change the surface of an object. This process is mostly used to create images on the material that may be seen at eye level. To do so, the laser creates high heat that will vaporize the matter, thus exposing cavities that will form the final image. This method is quick, as the material is removed with each pulse of the laser. It can be used on almost any kind of fabric, plastic, wood, leather or glass surface. As a special note for our transparent Acrylic, when engraving your parts, you must be sure to mirror the image so that when looking at your part head-on, the image appears correctly.

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