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The Major Parts Of A Laser Engraving Machine

    One of the most common uses for high-powered laser light is engraving. Laser engraving machines are capable of accurately creating highly complex patterns in a diverse range of materials. If you have been on the search for one or want to know more about them, here is a guide to the major parts of a typical laser engraving machine. A better understanding of all the parts is always beneficial whether you plan to use them yourself or not. 


    The laser mechanism is, of course, an essential part of any laser engraving machine. Lasers produce and amplify immensely focused beams of light. These beams of light create very precise points of extreme heat that can vaporize or melt layers of material. This is the process that creates the patination of an engraving. Most engraving lasers contain mirrors and an amplifying medium. 

    Amplifying Medium 

    All lasers require an amplifying medium in order to increase the potency and concentration of a light source. In some laser systems, the amplifying medium also acts as the chamber in which electrical voltage is converted into light energy. There are three major kinds of amplifying mediums used in laser engraving machines. 

    Crystals were the earliest amplifying medium used in lasers. The first practical lasers, developed during the 1960s, all used rubies as their media. C02 chambers are commonly knowns as the most cost-efficient amplifying medium. An electric current is passed through a chamber of C02 gas, which then converts the energy into light. Fiber amplifiers are a new innovation and promise very cheap and convenient laser engraving and cutting capabilities without the need for mirrors. 


    In all laser engraving systems apart from fiber amplified examples, a series of mirrors are used to further amplify and focus the laser beam before it reaches a target. These mirrors are arranged so that the beam is forced to reflect constantly, with each reflection increasing the amount of overall power. Unfortunately, mirrors need to be calibrated every now and again to ensure that an engraving machine is accurate. 

    Laser Engraving Machine


    The controller is used to determine the direction and spread of the laser beam as it moves across the engraving surface. Controllers are typically mechanical, but their actions are determined by digital commands sent from a CAD program. CAD – short for Computer Aided Design – has been a revolutionary development in almost all areas of resistant material manipulation. In the field of engraving, it has allowed designs to be dreamt up, shown to clients, and engraved in the same sitting. 


    The engraving surface of a laser engraving machine needs to be made of a material that does not easily pick up residue. Stainless steel is one of the most popular surface materials. The surface should be positioned so that it is precisely level with the focal plane of the laser beam itself. This can be adjusted according to the thickness of the material that is being engraved. 

    Fume Extractor 

    Laser engraving machines vaporize the surface of their targets in order to create a visible pattern. This creates vapor that can potentially be harmful to an operator’s health. All enclosed engraving machines have some kind of fume extraction system. 

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