The processes of laser marking, laser etching and laser engraving are increasing in popularity. All three of these laser services provide a permanent marking solution, fulfilling regulations and adding distinction to your products and parts. 

But what makes them different? 

All Marking Cutters are Engraving Cutters, but not all Engraving Cutters are Marking Cutters. This is because Marking Cutters are a “type” of engraving tool. By virtue of their sturdier geometry, Marking Cutters are suited for applications requiring repetition such as the engraving of serial numbers onto parts. Euro Machining offers Marking Cutters for ferrous and non-ferrous applications for material-specific purposes. Engraving Cutters, on the other hand, are meant for finer detailed applications that require intricate designs such as engraving a wedding band or a complex brand design. 

Laser Engraving 

Laser Engraving is the process of creating a mark that removes or vaporizes material during the process. When engraving metals this way the laser is breaking the machined surface of the object, so oxidation or rusting can occur as a result. This would be a question at the time of feasibility testing. “Do you want depth? If so do you realize that the base material could oxidize? Depending on the answer the next option might be Laser Marking. 

Laser Marking 

Annealing or precipitation marking is commonly used when processing metal items where the surface of the part must stay intact. Often items like surgical implants, surgical instruments or high precision bearings require this type of marking. With laser marking, the heat of the laser actually redistributes the carbon in the material to create a jet-black mark with only micron level surface disruption. 

Laser Cutting 

This is sometimes confused with laser engraving but really means totally sectioning a piece or cutting shapes directly through material. Most laser cutting is performed with CO2 lasers as again they interact with the material rather than the pigment within the material. 

In conclusion, understanding the basic terminology while you are shopping for a laser or a machining company to work with will greatly benefit your communication with the vendor and give them the best chance of meeting your expectations. Contact our machining company in San Jose and Santa Clara to begin your next machining project today.