Laser Engraved, Etched and Marked gift items
  for Amateur Radio Operators a/k/a Hams ...



             Crafting


 

 

 


About the Laser

We engrave, etch and mark using a 60-watt Epilog Mini-24 CO2 laser engraver that we purchased from our friends at Engraving Concepts in Arlington, TX.

The laser engraver works much like an ink jet printer. But, instead of firing droplets of ink, it fires a laser beam that engraves and cuts into a wide variety of materials. The laser beam is created by exciting CO2 gas with electricity to create a very intense beam of light. The beam is then directed to the subject material by an incredibly precise motion control system.

CO2 lasers are capable of engraving and cutting wood, cork, rubber, fabric, acrylic, some plastics and other "soft" materials, and can etch and mark ceramics, marble, granite, glass, metals and other "hard" materials.

Engraving

Engraving cuts into the material by "burning" it with such high intensity that the waste is virtually evaporated. The depth is determined by the amount of power applied and the speed at which the beam moves. Higher power settings and/or lower speed settings result in deeper material removal. By applying a very high power beam pulsed at a high frequency, materials that can be engraved can also be cut. During the Holiday Season, we plan to make ornaments by engraving and then cutting snow flakes out of wood and acrylic sheets.

Etching

Etching does not actually happen by burning material away. Surfaces like glass are etched by applying high power and low speed, which results in fracturing the surface to produce a frosted look, much like sandblasting. Additionally, marking compounds such as CerMark can be applied to the glass. The compound is then melted into the etch giving it color. For more information on this material, see:

     http://www.ferro.com/Our+Products/ColorGlassPM/Glass/Products+and+Markets/CerMark/Materials/Laser+Marking+on+Glass.htm

Marking

Most metals, like stainless steel, cannot be engraved, and can only be lightly etched, by a CO2 laser. On those items, such as pocket knives, money clips and travel mugs, we apply CerMark marking material. The laser beam fuses the material to the metal, resulting in a very slightly raised, colored image. Cermark has done extensive laboratory testing, proving the mark to be as durable as the metal. If the metal is deeply scratched, however, the mark will also be scratched. See :

     http://www.ferro.com/Our+Products/ColorGlassPM/Glass/Products+and+Markets/CerMark/Materials/Laser+Marking+on+Metal.htm