Månadsvis arkiv: augusti 2022
Wood in nature has a very different fate. Some low-quality wood was simply used as fuel and quickly disappeared without a trace. Some have been transformed into various furniture or tools to provide convenience for people’s lives. However, there are other woods that can be loved and cherished. This wood is never pure wood, but a work of art or craft engraved by a laser machine.
Laser engraving technology taps the potential value of wood. A rough or even messy piece of wood is worthless until it is carved. However, laser engraving technology is not as easy as we say. Why? This article aims to give you some explanation with 6 tips on how to laser engrave wood.
1. Low-viscosity masking tape
Before carving the wood, cover the surface of the wood with low-tack tape. In this case, there will be no brown or grey spots on the surface of the wood caused by smoke. When you’re done, remove the tape and you’ll find it’s cleaner than usual. This method can be time consuming if you are working on some very detailed projects. A paint scraper can then be used to speed things up.
2. Denatured alcohol
After the engraving work, prepare a bottle of denatured alcohol and a white cloth to clean the burn marks. Two things to note here – you must spray the alcohol evenly to protect the engraving, and you should use a colorless cloth (such as white) to wipe the burn marks without getting smudged by the dye.
3. Burn at 1200 DPI
Higher engraving resolutions can be achieved by adding more dots per inch (DPI). More DPI usually means more laser shots. Therefore, if this method is used, the wood can be burned deeper, so two carvings may be required. Therefore, you should strike a balance between sculpting resolution and time spent.
4. Take back your attention 0.2″
Do not set the focus of the laser automatically, but manually. You can use a digital caliper to lower the laser bed by 0.2 inches, which reduces mess and smoke. This way, not only will the carved plank surface be cleaner than ever, but you’ll spend less time cleaning the plank surface. This method is especially recommended when sculpting very detailed projects.
5. Use real hardwood for large carvings
Our past sculpting experience has taught us that plywood doesn’t work as well as we thought. Then we chose hardwood for large carvings for 3 reasons. First of all, the texture of the wood surface is consistent and beautiful. The second is that hardwood is heavier than plywood, which can guarantee higher carving quality. The last one is that the hardwood surface can be completely controlled.
6. Do some woodcut experiments
Although we don’t machine plywood very well compared to hardwood, we do think you can carve plywood perfectly with skilled craftsmanship and an advanced carver. It is recommended to do more engraving experiments on different kinds of wood to find a better laser solution.
Laser engraving wood is a common technology in the laser engraving industry, but further mining the great value of wood is the eternal mission of laser engraving technology and machines. Therefore, we still have a long way to go in improving laser technology and processes.
If you’ve never used a laser engraver before, you might be surprised at what can happen when you finally get into the workshop and start your own machining process. Laser engraving is a versatile application – it can be used to mark medical equipment or aftermarket auto parts that can withstand the harshest conditions, or to commemorate a birthday or special event by marking the date on a souvenir.
One of the coolest applications for atomstack laser engravers we’ve seen is working with photorealistic photos and images. Our galvo laser systems are so precise that in addition to engraving words and phrases, you can actually engrave photorealistic images into stainless steel. You have to be comfortable with grayscale, but when you get your images set up correctly, this incredible process produces great results.
Based on our own trial and error process, we have come up with the ideal step-by-step process for preparing your chosen laser engraving image. With so many different types of laser engravers available, and so many software options for preparing images, it’s hard to generalize about a one-size-fits-all approach, but we’ve done our best to make this guide accessible to everyone. Whether you’re an experienced designer working with Corel DRAW or the free online tool GIMP, follow these steps to prepare your images for sculpting.
Step 1 – Start with a high-quality image
When choosing an image for laser engraving, it is important to start with a high-resolution, high-quality image. A stamp image scanned from an old photo album will not retain its sharpness through the transformation that occurs before the image is ready for engraving, and you will not be able to ”inflate” or ”zoom in” like a picture from a CSI TV show. Make sure to use it well camera to take high-resolution photos for the best results.
Step 2 – Cut to Perfection
The advantage of starting with a high-quality photo is that you can effectively crop it and make it look bad. Cut out the parts of the image that you don’t want, and resize the rest to the size you want it to appear on the stainless steel or other material you’re using.
Step 3 – Remove the Background
This step is important and may require using the clipping tool in your image processing software or some handy Photoshop skills. If you don’t remove the background, your image may get lost in the background during the engraving process. By making the background of the image pure white and the laser engraving only the object in focus, you can avoid obscuring objects with irrelevant background details you don’t want.
Step 4 – Convert the Image to Grayscale
Laser engraving naturally produces grayscale images by cutting different lines at different depths for different number of passes. Generating an image in grayscale gives you a good idea of what it will look like when sculpted onto the material of your choice – your image is almost ready! Looking at the grayscale image should help you with the next steps, you’ll have to make some slight edits to the image for best results.
Step 5 – Edit your photo however you choose
Now that we’re working on something similar to what a laser engraver will produce, we can start making any version that’s important to achieve the desired result. Editing photos is a highly subjective process, but we’ll offer some advice. These can be applied to photos of people, places or objects.
You want to try to maximize contrast in key areas of your photo. This usually means making whites whiter and dark areas darker.
Areas that appear white in real life, such as eyes or nails, should be highlighted in the image by reducing any shadows that appear there. Set the black to 3-6% to help these areas stand out better.
Remove shadows from any faces in the image, as the dark contrasts too strongly with hair, which is usually darker. Set black to 10-15% for best results.
For dark tresses, darken them. For lighter tresses, you can make them lighter.
Step 5 Alternative – Color Index
If you’re not going to edit your photos, there’s an option you can choose to help maximize contrast without having to make any complicated changes yourself – that tool is Color Index. If you plan to use color indexing, you may need to do this before changing the image to grayscale.
A color index is a tool that some imaging software has that repaints your photo with a fixed number of colors for maximum contrast. It essentially looks at all the colors in the image, combines them into any number of groups of your choice, and replaces each group with one color. All you need to do is choose the number of colors you want for the image and let the image processor do the rest.
Step 6 – Sharpen Your Image
Sharpening just makes lines look thicker, and it’s a simple tool that exists in almost every photo editing program. For photos of people, sharpen the eyelashes, lips, hair around the face, and any other areas you want to emphasize in the final sculpted image. If you photographed objects or buildings, focus on the most important lines that add texture to the image and give it a three-dimensional feel.
Step 7 – Convert and Export
Your image should now look the way you want it to be sculpted on stainless steel, plywood, or other materials. The next step is to convert this image to a bitmap of the appropriate resolution and transfer it to laser CAD software for engraving. When exporting as a bitmap, the recommended resolution is approximately 200 pixels per centimeter. This ensures that your images are displayed in high resolution on the material of your choice.
Step 8 – Press the red button
The last and most fun step is always setting the options on the laser cutter and pressing ”start” at the end after all the hard work is done. Engraving differs from laser etching in that it makes deeper cuts in the material, and it’s usually better to program the laser to make multiple passes over the material, rather than trying to blast a large piece of steel or wood in a single pass. Our galvo lasers use an oscillating mirror system to cut at extremely high speeds, so your project will be complete in minutes.
Just follow these simple steps and you can reproduce images of stunning quality on a piece of stainless steel, birch or laminate. You also don’t have to be a graphical wizard — in fact, it doesn’t matter what program you use, as long as it performs the basic functions we’ve outlined above. Whatever you choose, the most important thing to remember is to start with a clear, high-resolution image. A great picture is a great starting point for creating great creations with our laser engravers.
These two machines can engrave many materials, plastic, leather, metal, etc. However, what are the main differences? Why is one so much more expensive than the other? In this blog, we will explain the difference between these two technologies and their main uses.
From the outside, the main structure of this machine may look similar, but the technology used inside these machines is different. Fiber lasers and UV lasers use different power supplies. Another difference is that UV lasers require chiller cooling, while fiber lasers only require air cooling.
These machines are designed for different material engraving solutions
The main purpose of the fiber laser engraving machine is to provide engraving and solutions for the metal marking industry, the machine can mark, engrave (see the difference between engraving and marking) and engraving on all metal materials. In addition, UV lasers are designed to be a practical solution for marking plastics and glass – UV laser machines can engrave a wide range of materials, from metal to paper. Check out the list of materials this machine can engrave and mark.
As we have seen with laser UV, it can engrave more materials than fiber lasers. Ultraviolet lasers can mark on different materials, but the engraving and engraving power of metal materials is small. Fiber laser machines have obvious advantages over ultraviolet lasers in marking, engraving and engraving metal materials.
What are the advantages of UV laser machines?
The main advantage of UV laser technology is the versatility and ability to engrave on different materials including non-metallic materials. The technology can also use automated systems such as rotary engraving, linear guide engraving, conveyor belt engraving systems, and camera capture systems.
What are the disadvantages of UV laser machines?
One disadvantage of UV laser technology is that it is weak for engraving metal, and if you are looking for a machine that can engrave and engrave metal, a fiber laser engraver would be a better choice.
What are the advantages of fiber laser engraving
In short, the main advantage of a fiber laser engraving machine is its ability to engrave, mark and engrave metal materials at high speed. Fiber lasers can also mark different non-metallic materials, but the results of engraving on this material will not be as good as UV laser machines. However, this is the added advantage of fiber laser machines, being able to work perfectly on metals and on some non-metallic materials.
What are the disadvantages of fiber laser engraving machines?
The downside of this machine comes when we want to engrave non-metallic materials. We cannot engrave or mark several materials that UV can engrave, such as wood, glass, all plastics, paper, or generally transparent objects. For example, this machine can engrave ABS and PLA, two very common plastics, in different products. When we use a fiber laser machine, the engraving on this plastic material has a 5% to 10% melting, which means that when you touch it with your finger, you may be able to feel the engraved surface just by touch. This is something that will never happen with UV laser engraving.
What are the advantages of Bach laser technology?
The strength of our machines is that we are built and designed with German galvanometer technology, ensuring that their resolution is always optimal, even when engraving at high speeds. Our machines are also designed with Panasonic sensors, allowing to still have the correct size and angle to engrave material at the correct distance.
We also use BCF technology that allows our machines to engrave more material and engrave different color effects on metal or some plastic materials.
1. Focus on the core application: laser engraving or laser cutting
It’s easy to be drawn to how many other applications a machine can perform. A good generalist is a compromise machine in almost every way. Just because a machine can cut and engrave doesn’t mean it can do both functions well. A purpose-designed machine will always perform the core application better, so it’s no surprise that laser cutters cut better than laser engravers, and vice versa.
2. Throughput is almost always the key to business success.
Even if your business volume is low right now, production speed is critical. Higher throughput will provide the opportunity to reduce selling prices while increasing your profits and you can also deliver faster. These three elements are the keys to being competitive, winning and growing your laser engraving business.
3. Carefully consider the true cost of ownership, as this can have a huge impact on profit erosion.
No one is going to buy a laser engraver for a year and throw it away. For most people, it’s a long-term investment, but most buyers focus primarily on the purchase price. The actual cost of a machine should be judged by its cost of ownership over its entire working life, which is about 10 years for a good machine. Often, the cost of ownership of an inexpensive machine is much higher due to replacement parts, excessive maintenance, and lower output quality/productivity.
4. Think technology first, brand second.
We often see rows of identical laser engravers installed throughout the workshop, with buyers making purchases based on ”we always by brand X”. If a brand can provide the right machine for the job, there are certainly many advantages to brand loyalty, however, the performance of the technology should be a bigger priority
If we all insisted on only buying brands, we would all be using Nokia or Motorola phones today. Often newer and sometimes smaller companies provide innovations simply because they have to do it in order to enter the market or even survive for. Going beyond the first page of Google can save you a fortune.
5. Buy from a reputable, reputable supplier with application knowledge and the kits they sell.
You would expect most machinery suppliers to know what they sell, but this should never be taken for granted. Before making a purchase, push salespeople to test their knowledge of the product, its features, and especially their knowledge of the app. Don’t settle for preset demos tried/tested by manufacturers
If salespeople don’t know your application, how can they recommend the right system configuration to you? Remember that many salespeople will try to sell you what they want to sell, not what you should buy. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for us to see companies use the wrong tools at work because they’re misinformed.
6. Look carefully at the warranty and support guarantee
Despite the hype, especially on the Internet, the only guarantee you can rely on is that nothing lasts forever: all machines will fail at some point. The more successful you are, the harder your laser engraver is to work and the more likely it is to fail. If you’re lucky enough to be successful, it’s never a good time to take your machine down
In the event of a failure, you want to know how quickly it will be repaired and what the total cost will be, so look carefully at the fine print of your system’s warranty and more closely at your vendor’s support resources. If you can, talk to a support technician or two, as well as sales, as these types of people often have very different views on the same product.
7. Remember that the core foundation of good system design is a careful balance of functionality, affordability, and reliability.
By default, more powerful systems are generally less affordable and may actually be less reliable. By default, more affordable systems have fewer features and may also be less reliable. Logically, an average machine would be a happy medium for all of these things, but an average machine would most likely only provide no more than average results
Therefore, it is critical to ”buy right” and choose a system that can meet today’s needs and, to a certain extent, some of the future.
This consideration is not only related to laser power, laser marking speed, etc., but also to software functionality. For example, today you may need to mark text and logos, but tomorrow you may need to laser mark barcodes.