Laser engraving is used primarily on metal type objects creating a permanent finish. Stainless steel items and silver or gold metal objects are often laser engraved with an image as an alternative to pad or screen printing.
The word laser is short for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
To engrave an item, decorators use design software to translate your graphics file into a pattern and a computer calibrates the temperature of the laser so it isn’t strong enough to cut all the way through the material. The laser beam pulses extremely quickly and burns away bits of material from the item’s surface, leaving a slight impression.
The advantages of Laser Engraving include:
- Higher perceived value than other forms of branding. The branding becomes part of the surface and is permanent. (Fine detail can be lost on smaller products like pens).
- Gives a similar finish to etching on glassware at a much lower cost.
- Rotary laser engraving is now available with long time required on the machine to achieve this much larger engraving area
- It is recommended metal key tags be engraved as the keys cannot scratch an engraved design as it would if decorated using pad printing.
- The size of the branding area is limited on curved surfaces
- Fine detail can be lost on smaller products like pens
- PMS colours are not available for this decoration method. The coating is engraved through to a base surface. For example a pen with black barrel and silver trim will most likely have a silver barrel under the black coating. The logo will engrave to a silver finish.
- It is a requirement that artwork is supplied in vector outline format