Laser engraving on natural, suede and synthetic leathers is a process used to create permanent images onto the surface of leather. You usually use an industrial laser to engrave on leather. But how do you choose the right equipment for this?
Factors to Consider When Buying a Laser Machine
The answer depends on what type of image you want, and what type of material your leather is made out of. This blog post will go through all the factors to consider when deciding which equipment to use.
Image You Want to Engrave
First, you need to decide what type of image you want. Are you looking for a monochrome or color image? If you’re looking for a monochrome image, then any industrial laser will work. However, if you’re looking for a color image, then you’ll need to use a laser printer with RGB capabilities.
Finally, you need to consider the purpose of the leather. If you are using it for a personal project, such as a bookmark or keychain, then any type of leather will do. However, if you plan on selling your finished product, you will want to use the highest quality leather that is more durable and resistant to wear and tear.
Types of Leather
Different types of leather require different frequency settings. For example, if you are using cowhide, you will need to use a higher power setting and slower speed than if you were using lambskin.
You see, not all leathers are created equal. Some are thicker and more difficult to engrave than others.
You’ll also want to take into account the color of the leather products, as different colors will absorb light differently. For example, black leather absorbs a lot of light, making it more easy to engrave than other colors.
If you need a machine that is versatile and can handle a variety of non-metal materials, then a CO₂ laser machine is a good option. These machines are a little expensive, but they offer a wide range of capabilities.
If you are looking for a machine that is specifically designed for leather engraving, then a YAG laser machine is a good choice. These machines are less expensive than RF CO₂ lasers and are perfect for engraving on leather.
No matter which machine you choose, be sure to research the different laser engraving software options that are available. This will help you create designs that can be engraved on leather.
Finally, you’ll want to decide on what power setting your laser will be set at – this is something that can vary greatly depending on the project and the machine itself. Usually depending on the depth you need to engrave, from 30W ~ 150W, if you need to achieve better depth faster or achieve large area surface marking, then choose at least 50W or more power CO2 laser tube.
Types of Laser Machine
There are many types of laser machines on the market, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. The best way to choose a machine is to consider your needs and budget.
UV lasers are designed to be a useful tool for marking polyethylene and glass. They can print on a wide range of materials, including metals, paper, and polymers. These lasers work with high-density and low-density polyethylene, as well as synthetic fibers, making them ideal for laser engraving tasks where the surface of a product needs to be protected.
This laser is used for marking and etching. Fiber lasers are a form of solid-state laser that generates a strong point of light with a tiny focal diameter, resulting in intensity far surpassing CO2 systems. They’re perfect for permanent markings, such as serial numbers and barcodes, as well as metal engraving (including coated metals) and high-contrast plastic markings.
CO2 lasers, which were one of the first gas lasers developed, are still one of the most useful types and are currently available in high-power continuous waves. CO2 laser beams are produced in a sealed glass tube filled with gas (usually carbon dioxide). The gas particles are aroused to greater energy using a high voltage that runs through the tube.
YAG lasers, often known as flash lamps or lamp-pumped lasers, employ a lamp (bulb) as a pumping mechanism and a crystal as the gain medium, utilizing an optical resonator that reflects light to generate laser light. Though they’re still widely utilized in industries like steel and shipbuilding, they are becoming gradually obsolete due to bulbs’ limited life spans and frequent replacements.
Cost of Laser Machine
When it comes to laser leather engraving, there are several factors you need to consider when purchasing a machine. The cost of the laser machine is one consideration – machines can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. If you have low budget, you can consider glass tube CO2 laser engraver, if you have high budget, then can consider high speed CO2 laser marking machine with RF metal tube, which can create high efficiency markings and engravings for you.
The depth of the engraving will also affect the type of equipment that is used. If you are only engraving the surface of synthetic leather, a lower power setting and faster speed can be used. However, if you are engraving into the leather, a higher power setting and slower speed will be needed.
Size of Project
The size of your project and engraving area will also affect the type of equipment that is used. If you are only engraving a small area, a lower power setting and smaller lens can be used. However, if you are engraving a large area, a higher power setting and larger lens will be needed.
UV lasers are the most energy-efficient and long-lasting, but they’re mostly utilized for marking and engraving materials below the surface.
Finally, fiber lasers are intended to be highly dependable, high-performance equipment that consistently delivers high-quality markings and etchings. In contrast to UV, they have a greater strength against metal surfaces but struggle with organic materials, unlike UV.
It’s also worth comparing CO2 and YAG to fiber, as well as comparing CO2 and UV. Then we can conclude that CO2 laser is the most suitable for leather engraving and marking.
Laser cutting is also an excellent feature for laser machines. When purchasing a laser cutter for leather, there are several factors to consider. The most important thing is the power of the laser. You need one that will be able to cut through the leather easily. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the machine can handle different types and thicknesses of leather.
There are also a few other things to keep in mind when selecting a laser cutter for leather engraving. One is the size of the work area. Make sure that it’s big enough to accommodate your projects. Another thing is how well the machine handles curves and intricate designs. If you plan on doing a lot of detailed work, you’ll want to make sure the machine has good precision control.
Advantages of Getting a Laser Engraver for Leather
The main advantage of leather engraving using a laser is that you can do it without breaking all material surface, allowing much more design freedom than other processes. Other advantages are:
- the high precision which allows for very fine details to be engraved.
- the lack of contact with the leather surface, meaning that there is no risk of damaging it.
- the minimal amount of heat produced by the laser beam, which does not cause any damage or discoloration to the leather in non-engraved areas.
- Highlights leather in a high contrast resulting in a natural appearance.
- long-lasting and indelible since the laser burns the leather’s surface.
- quick and easy to operate, making it ideal for small-scale production.
Laser Engraving Tips on Leather
Genuine leather is a natural and organic material from animal hides. It has unique features that need to be considered when laser engraving it.
The main thing to remember when laser engraving leather is that the laser needs good contact with the surface of the leather to produce a clean, sharp image. If there is no good contact, the laser will produce a dirty, smoky image.
Leather also tends to absorb moisture and can become quite slippery when wet. This makes it difficult to hold in place while engraving and can also cause the engraved image to fade over time.
To get around these problems, it is important to use the right type of leather and to adjust the laser settings accordingly.
If you are using a standard desktop laser engraver, it is best to use a thicker grade of leather that has been treated with a surface finish such as sealant or lacquer. This will help to protect the image from fading and ensure good contact between the leather and the laser.
If you are using a high-powered industrial laser engraver, it is possible to engrave thinner grades of leather without any surface finish. However, you will need to adjust the engraving settings to account for the natural absorbency of the leather.
In general, you should use a slower speed and a lower power setting when engraving leather. The laser should be set to “mark” mode rather than “cut” mode, and the focus should be adjusted so that the beam is just touching the surface of the leather.
By following these tips, you can create beautiful, engraved images on leather that will last for many years.
There are many factors to consider when buying a laser machine for marking leather. Laser engraving on leather is an expensive process and your equipment must last for the long term. If you need help deciding which laser machines best suit your needs, just contact us! We can provide tailored advice based on your specific business goals or industry demands.