A laser engraving machine is a must-have for every manufacturer and vendor in the jewelry business. Engraving metals, jewelry, and other materials have been a very common practice from a long time back. But recently amazingly high-tech, laser engraving machines have been developed that can solve all your metallic and non-metallic marking problems.
In this article, we will be letting you in on the essentials of laser engraving, its history, the types of technologies used in the process and how you can select the best engraving machine for your requirements.
As of today, a lot of regulations require manufacturers and vendors to have their inventories uniquely identified. In fact, it is observed that almost all the manufactured products are using, one method or another to mark their inventories.
Before we move towards the current era, let’s have a look at the epic history of engraving and how it transformed into modern laser engraving as we see it now.
History of Jewelry Engraving
The technique of engraving dates back to as far as the Middle Stone Ages, i.e. around 60,000 BC. Subsequently, engravings on bones, Ivory, and rocks were commonly found that dates back to the same era.
With time, the art of engraving evolved and became a profession. As a result, It has been long used for decoration, specifically metallic ornaments. Moreover, artists utilized various techniques of engraving for decoration on metalwork such as swords, shields, and armors.
At first, engraving was used to create permanent cast-dyes that were later used for developing printed decoratives. However, with time, engraving techniques evolved and became widely used for the decoration of metallic ornaments such as jewelry by carving patterns, providing texture and increasing their worth.
Recently, the need for engraving metallic ornaments like Gold jewelry has increased manifolds. A major reason for this is the personalized jewelry with their names marked on it that people want to wear.
Furthermore, it has also become a part of the regulatory requirements for the vendors to mark their jewelry with certain serials and numbers to identify them.
Subsequently, laser engraving became the method of choice for engraving jewelry. What is Laser engraving and how it works? we will have a look in the next section.
Jewelry Laser Engraving Techniques
There are multiple techniques being used for jewelry engravings like:
This type of laser engraving method creates high heat when marking that causes the material to vaporize from the surface. One of the greatest advantages of this method is the reduced damage to the surface during the engraving procedure.
Etching or laser foaming is another method widely in used for engraving jewelry. In this method, a part of the material melts with the help of the laser and then the melted material deposits and cools to form the desired shape. Thus, the pulse of beam velocity is the factor in this case that determines the engraved shape. A major disadvantage of this method is the damage to the base material.
In the laser bonding method, another material is used in combination with the original material. The laser helps the external material to bond with the base material in the shape as required.
Laser Coat and Mask
In this method, the base material has a coat of external material that you can use the laser engraving machine to make the mark. This method is suitable when the original material has to be safe at all costs.
Laser annealing like ordinary annealing is the method whereby you move the laser repeatedly over a surface causing decoloration of the area with higher exposure from the laser. This sharp contrast is used to create the markings on the material.
Laser Ablation is the method where the surface coating of the material to be marked is engraved. This method provides great protection for the original material.
Types of Laser Technologies
Primarily there are 3 types of laser technologies for the laser engraving of jewelry. Namely,
CO2/Helium Laser Engraving Machine
CO2 or Helium lasers are known as gas-based lasers. These are of the first types of lasers to hit the market and have maintained their market share even with later technologies evolved now.
Crystal Laser Engraving Machine
Another commonly used type of laser technology is crystal laser technology. This type of technology uses a crystal to produce the intended laser for the use.
Fiber Laser Engraving Machine
Of the methods available, fiber laser engraving is the latest technology in the market. This method is easiest, produces the best results and with the best turn around time. All these factors make fiber laser engraving a choice of their liking for most of the jewelry vendors.
In a fiber laser, the medium being used is an optical fiber that has been doped in ytterbium (a rare element). This makes the laser beam stronger and more effective while engraving from it.
Subsequently, fiber lasers are perhaps the most widely used laser engravers available in the market for jewelry engraving. These solid-state and light-weight engravers are portable and convenient to use. That is what makes them the ideal choice for most of the jewelry vendors.
HeatSign’s Laser Engraving Machine for Jewelry
The HeatSign jewelry engraving machine provides one of the best modern-day jewelry engraving machines that are precise and accurate with high robustness.
The machine’s high-quality shock absorbers suppress the vibrations produced during machining and you can experience a seamless session of engraving. This results in immaculate results that segregate your product from the lot.
HeatSign’s laser engraver machines are highly customizable and contain a built-in software that is state-of-the-art that can automatically update the content with auto-update of serial numbers.
The laser engraving machine for jewelry gives the user the freedom to choose between different shapes and engrave on various materials including Aluminum, Copper, Ceramics, Gold, Brass, Silver and even Plastics like ABS, PVC, PP, PE, etc.
Furthermore, the users can deploy standard fonts and characters for engraving on jewelry. One distinctive feature of the laser engraving machine for jewelry is the engraving of complete photographs on pendants that look fantastic once finished and ready.
Another amazing feature of this machine is the dedicated software that uses the patterns in CorelDRAW drawing and produces the exact same drawing on the markings (contact us for further details on this feature).
How To Choose the Right Laser Engraving Machine for the Job
You might have a difficult time selecting the laser engraving machine of your liking from all the different laser engraving machines for jewelry available in the market. But here is how you can choose the ideal laser engraving machine for your needs.
Check the Power Output Source
The power output source of the laser engraving machine is the first thing to check when purchasing a laser engraving machine for jewelry.
Subsequently, it depends on your need and task at hand that will determine the output power source that you need to select.
In case you are looking for engraving hard materials like marbles or stones you will need a CO2 laser of higher power rating in the range of 40-150W. But if you are looking to mark and simple engrave jewelry with the laser machine, then you can choose the fiber laser minimal power of 20W,30W or 50W.
Though the power rating of the laser engraving machine will not determine the quality of the machine. Rather, it is the right combination of the power source and the core technology of the laser that determines the quality of the laser engraving machine.
The Technology Used
Thus, it all comes down to the right combination between the laser technology used and the power of the laser that determines the high-quality of the laser engraving machine for jewelry.
Currently, multiple core laser technologies are available in the market as we have discussed earlier. In each case, the product that best suits you will depend on your need and the material that you want to engrave.
For jewelry though, you can opt for the Fiber-based laser engraving machine and it will fulfill all your basic requirements and produce seamless results.
Ease of Use
Now comes the task to choose the best machine for the task at hand. Also, a machine with the ability to clamp the article and work on it should be preferred.
Plus, the clamp should not be stern and fixed in a position and rather should have rotary motion freedom. This will enable you to work easily on the bracelet/ring and create highly-customized designs with great ease.
One of the most important aspects is the machine’s precision. Usually, a machine with the highest accuracy of less than 1mm should be used so that results are near perfect.
Depending on the size of the jewelry or other material that you deal in, you can choose the precision of the laser engraving machine accordingly.
The software of the laser engraving machine also plays an important part in determining the right machine for your job.
For instance, HeatSign’s laser engraving tool provides you with software that enables to engrave according to an incremental sequence. Also, check the version of the software, its release date and the level of customization that it allows you.
Also, check the customizability of the laser engraving machine before buying one.
Also, look out for reviews of the machine online. And see how easily you can change the different settings of the machine. The settings you can change include depth, width, height, auto-incremental feature, and other available features of the engraving machine.
And see how easily you can change the different settings of the machine like the depth, width, height, auto-incremental feature, and other available features of the engraving machine.
Tech Support Available for Laser Engraving Machine
Effective technical support from the vendor is something that a lot of clients have complained about. Understandably, like any other machine, Laser engraving machine for jewelry also can get faulty and need replacements of parts.
As a result, you must thoroughly survey the market for the reviews about the technical and logistic support available for the laser engraving machine.
Online reviews are extremely important and will help you discover things that you might have overlooked during your inspection.
Furthermore, checkout with the vendor to see if they hold sufficient stock of spares to provide for the replacement of parts when you need it. If the laser engraving machine is of high quality but lacks the effective support from the vendor then you must look for another option.
Cost of the Laser Engraving Machine
Cost is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration while selecting the laser engraving machine for your shop. Remember, do not go for the cheapest option available on the table. Rather, a good survey of the available models and their online reviews from the buyers can give you a good idea about which engraving machine you should purchase. Thus, HeatSign brings you a good insight into laser engraving machines and the different technical aspects relating to it.
Summing up, you can make a list of your priorities and the materials that you want to engrave. And then choose the ideal laser technology and the product. Subsequently, you can find an extensive variety of laser engraving tools on HeatSign’s website. If you want to engrave jewelry according to your clients’ demands then you have come to the right place. Furthermore, we have a good flow of supply chain that will always be there for your technical or logistic support. Just click the “contact us” button and we will guide you through the rest.