A laser engraving machine is a must-have for every manufacturer and vendor in the jewelry business for engraving metals, jewelry, and other materials. As of today, many regulations require manufacturers and vendors to have their inventories uniquely identified. It is observed that almost all the manufactured products are using one method or another to mark their inventories. In this article, we will be letting you in on the essentials of laser engraving as it talks about the common laser technologies used in the process and how you can select the best laser engraving machine for your jewelry.
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History of Jewelry Engraving
Before we move towards the current era, let’s look at the epic history of engraving and how it transformed into modern laser engraving as we see it now. The engraving technique dates back to the Middle Stone Ages, i.e., around 60,000 BC. Subsequently, engravings on bones, Ivory, and rocks commonly date back to the same era.
With time, the art of engraving evolved and became a profession. As a result, it became an important process in decorating some metallic ornaments. Moreover, artists utilized various engraving techniques to decorate metalwork such as swords, shields, and armors.
At first, engraving was used to create permanent cast dyes, later used to develop printed decorative. However, with time, engraving techniques evolved and became widely used to decorate 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.
Jewelry Laser Engraving Techniques
Alongside laser engraving, there are multiple laser techniques suitable for jewelry engravings. Below is a summary of how they work from which you can choose whether they are suitable or not:
· Laser Evaporation
This laser engraving method creates high heat when marking, which causes the material to vaporize from the surface. One of this method’s greatest advantages is the reduced surface damage during the engraving procedure.
· Laser Etching/Melting
Etching or laser foaming is another method widely used for engraving jewelry. In this method, a part of the material melts with the help of the laser (mostly a fiber laser machine), and then the melted material deposits and cools to form the desired shape. Thus, the pulse of beam velocity determines the engraved shape in this case. A major disadvantage of this method is the damage to the base material.
· Laser Bonding
This involves combining another material with the original material. The laser helps the outer material bond with the base material to form the required shape.
· Laser Coat and Mask
In this method, the base material has a coat of external material that you can use in the laser engraving machine to make the mark. This method is suitable when the original material must be safe at all costs.
· Laser Coloration/Annealing
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
Laser Ablation is where the surface coating of the material to be marked is engraved. This method provides great protection for the original material.
Types of Laser Engraving and Marking Technologies
There are three 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 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.
· Fiber Laser Engraving Machine
Of the machines available, fiber laser engraving machines use the latest technology in the market. This method is the easiest, produces the best results, and with the best turnaround time. As a result, fiber laser engraving is the common choice for most jewelry vendors.
In a fiber laser, the medium used is an optical fiber 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 for jewelry engraving. These solid-state and lightweight engravers are portable and convenient to use. That is what makes them the ideal choice for most jewelry vendors.
HeatSign’s Laser Engraving Machine for Jewelry
HeatSign jewelry engraving machine provides one of the best modern-day jewelry engraving machines that are precise and accurate with high robustness. These machines have high-quality shock absorbers that suppress the vibrations during the engraving process so you can experience a seamless session of engraving and quality engraving
HeatSign’s laser engraver machines are highly customizable and contain state-of-the-art built-in software that automatically updates the content with auto-update serial numbers. The laser engraving machine for jewelry allows the user 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 completing 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 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 difficulty selecting the laser engraving machine of your liking from all the different laser engraving machines for jewelry available in the market. However, you can easily choose an ideal laser engraving machine using the factors below.
· 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 to determine the output power source you must select.
If you want to engrave hard materials like marble or stones, you will need a CO2 laser with a higher power rating of 40-150W. But if you want to mark or engrave metallic jewelry with the laser machine, you can choose the fiber laser with minimal power of 20W or others.
Though the power rating of the laser engraving machine will not determine the quality, 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.
As discussed earlier, multiple core laser technologies are currently available. In each case, the product that best suits you will depend on your need and the material you want to engrave.
You can opt for the Fiber-based laser engraving machine for jewelry, and it will fulfill all your basic requirements and produce seamless results.
· Ease of Use
Now comes choosing the best machine for the task at hand. Also, a machine that can clamp and work on the article should be preferred. This depends on the laser accessories used.
Plus, the clamp should not be stern and fixed in a position but rather have rotary motion freedom. This will enable you to work easily on the bracelet/ring and create highly-customized designs.
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 to perfect results.
Depending on the size of the jewelry or other material you deal with, you can choose the precision of the laser engraving machine accordingly.
· The Software
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 can engrave according to an incremental sequence. Also, check the software version, its release date, and the level of customization it allows you.
Also, check the customizability of the laser engraving machine before buying one.
Also, thoroughly survey the market for reviews about the technical and logistic support available for the laser engraving machine. Online reviews are extremely important and will help you discover things you might have overlooked during your inspection.
· Tech Support Available for Laser Engraving Machine
Effective technical support from the vendor is something that many clients have complained about. Understandably, like any other machine, a laser engraving machine for jewelry can get faulty and need parts replacement.
Furthermore, you should check with the vendor to see if they hold sufficient stock of spares to replace parts when needed. If the laser engraving machine is high quality but lacks the vendor’s effective support, you must look for another option.
· Cost of the Laser Engraving Machine
Cost is the determining factor when 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 provides insight into laser engraving machines and the different technical aspects.
Summing up, list your priorities and the materials you want to engrave. And then choose the ideal laser technology and product. Subsequently, you can find various laser engraving tools on HeatSign’s website. You have come to the right place if you want to engrave jewelry according to your client’s demands. Furthermore, we have a good supply chain flow that will always be there for your technical or logistic support. Click the “contact us” button, and we will guide you through the rest.