Understanding Laser Engraving and its Many Uses

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A laser beam is a highly focussed beam of light that can be used for many purposes such as vaporising material, discolouring the surface of a component, or creating a deep engraving. It has been more than a decade now since the laser was first used to make labels and signage. It was wood that was initially engraved by using a laser beam for creating decorative artwork. This process is termed as laser engraving wood or wood burning. Laser technology was then introduced in industrial applications in the I970s.

Laser Beam for Engravings

Laser engraving is also known as laser etching. Compared to conventional etching, laser etching does not require chemicals or masks. The process of laser engraving is used for etching out shapes, letters, and designs on numerous surfaces including plastic, wood, ceramic, glass, semiconductors, and metal. Industries like engineering and marketing and the medical industry make use of a laser beam for etching. A few of the uses for a laser beam include etching ANSI safety information, engraved labels, permanent serial numbers, and customer logos.

Untitled Understanding Laser Engraving and its Many Uses

Laser engraving produces clear and highly detailed engraved labels

Image attributed to Wikimedia Torsja

How Laser Engraving Works

Laser beams make use of light for engraving surfaces unlike other conventional methods that use ink.  Patterns, images, or letters that are required to be etched are usually programmed into a computer. This controls the laser beam and helps engrave the surface accurately in a needed style. The intensity of the laser beam is usually regulated depending on the type of surface that needs marking.

Advantages of Laser Engraving

  • One of the important advantages of using laser for engraving as compared to traditional methods is that a laser does not cause any damage to the surface of the product since there is no direct contact between the tool and the product being engraved.  Thus, it greatly reduces the probability of deformation. It does not even change the colour of the surface to be marked.


  • No residue or toxic substances are left after the process. Thus, lasers offer negligible cleaning and maintenance. Since the engraving caused by a laser is permanent, it is not affected by water or chemicals.


  • Laser marks are very long-lasting and cannot be easily removed unless you destroy the engraved product.


  • Laser engraving is a quick process and produces neat, sharp, and clear marks. It is a safe method of etching surfaces. Engraving can also be easily done on glass with the help of a laser technique.


  • Laser beams are accurate and repeatable. The width of laser beams can be easily focused to less than 30 microns and can be repeatedly placed to the same scale. Laser marking is preferable when the pattern to be etched is very complicated or very small and cannot be etched by any other process.


  • Some surfaces such as metal alloys and polymers produce great results with engraving as the effect of engraving by laser on these surfaces is exceptional.

The entire procedure of laser engraving is cost-effective, time-effective, and environmentally friendly. No additional material, supplies, and consumables are needed for laser engraving. Thus, it is a highly affordable process.  If you are looking for laser engraving services such as industrial labelling, cutting, house signs, barcoding, and electrical safety signs in the United Kingdom, you can easily search on the Internet for a trustworthy company.

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