A portable laser engraver is a machine used in many manufacturing industries for marking plastics and metals. It is a user-friendly machine, applicable in different marking projects. However, some people don’t know how it functions and how to operate it.

To combat this, we made a guide on using a portable laser engraver. This guide will thoroughly discuss the laser engraving process, portable laser engraving machine features, and how to select the right one. Enjoy!

how does a portable laser engraving machine work

What is Laser Engraving?

what is laser engraving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laser engraving is a subtractive manufacturing process involving using a laser beam from a laser engraver to create images on a material. Therefore, laser engraving is common in the automotive, aerospace, and electronic industries.

Differences Between Laser Marking, Etching, and Engraving

differences between laser marking, etching, and engraving

 

Laser engraving is a common manufacturing process with wide applications. However, due to the “laser” tag, most people confuse it with other laser processes such as laser etching and laser marking.

Laser Etching

laser etching

Laser etching is a subset of laser engraving that uses heat from a laser etching machine’s laser beam, possibly a portable laser etcher, to melt a material. The material expands, leading to a raised cavity. Consequently, it modifies and enhances physical characteristics such as the reflectivity of materials. Laser etching is a popular process used on metals.

Laser Marking

Laser Engraving Marking

Laser marking involves using a lower portable laser marking machine to make high-contrast markings on a material. Unlike laser etching and laser engraving, it does not alter the condition of the material. It only leads to the discoloration of the material via oxidation which is the marking itself.

Laser etching, marking, and engraving can produce images on different materials by using laser beams. However, the difference between the three is in the production of the markings. Laser engraving removes part of the materials. Laser etching alters the top layer of the material. Laser marking leads to the creation of images on the materials without removing or altering the materials.

Types Of Laser Engraving Process

There are two types of laser engraving processes: raster and vector engraving. Both methods are different, and they are based on the graphic file type they use.

Raster Engraving Process

This is the standard engraving process, and it involves printing a file line by line. In raster engraving, the laser engraving machine marks the material line by line and point by point.

The process is similar to the process used by inkjet printers. However, instead of inking, the raster engraving process involves removing materials pixel by pixel. Raster engraving is also bi-directional. Consequently, the engraving process occurs in an alternating fashion.

In the raster engraving process, the two axles have different speeds. The x-axle which houses the laser head has a higher speed than the y-axle. Also, the PPI (pulse per inch) is important as it controls the laser points density.

Vector Engraving and Cutting Process

While raster engraving uses print file line by line, vector engraving and cutting print a file using lines and curves. The process is also known as “scoring,” and unlike in raster engraving, the axles move slower and simultaneously.

There is also a huge factor placed on the power factor of the laser marking machine. If you use a lower power setting, it is engraving. However, with a higher power setting, it is a vector cut.

What is a Portable Laser Engraver?

what is a portable laser engraving machine

A portable laser engraver or a handheld laser engraver is a popular tool in the automotive, aerospace, electronics industries due to its portable and ease of operation. Unlike a traditional engraving machine, a portable engraving machine comprises two general parts: a handheld part and a box. The two components are responsible for the machine engraving functions and other complementing features.

How Does A Portable Laser Engraving Machine Work?

portable laser engraving marking

 

Choosing the right portable laser engraving machine comes with understanding how the machine works and other needed prerequisites. These might be highly demanding. However, below are a few factors that will help choose the best portable laser engraver.

Handheld Part

The handheld portion houses the laser in a protective glass case and is responsible for creating the design on a material. You will hold the handheld part to focus laser beams on the materials. Consequently, the materials become marked.

Box

The box contains the controller and software, and it is responsible for controlling the action of the laser. The software allows you to manipulate the design of images and text. The controller allows you to manipulate the laser in terms of direction. It also controls the power of the laser beam. The controller can coordinate the laser using the x and y vector map from the design file you upload.

How to Choose the Right Portable Laser Engraving Machine?

portable laser engraving machine – the ultimate guide

Choosing the right portable laser engraving machine comes with understanding how the machine works and other needed prerequisites. These might be highly demanding. However, below are a few factors that will help choose the best portable laser engraver.

·         Price

Price is a huge factor when deciding to get a portable laser engraver. Unlike traditional laser engravers, a portable engraving machine is portable while still exceptionally good for industrial use. A portable engraving machine also boasts of heightened ease of operation due to its features. Therefore, the price of getting one is higher than the conventional laser engravers.

·         Software Compatibility

Software compatibility is an important factor when looking to get a portable laser engraver. There are two options available. You can get a portable laser engraver with its software. Therefore, you have to ensure your designs fit into the engraver’s software. The second option is to get a portable laser engraving machine that can work with your software. Therefore, when you create a design with your software, it will be compatible with it. A good example of a software-compatible engraver you can get is the portable 20w fiber laser marking machine.

·         Power Source

What do you think will improve the ease of operation the portable laser engraving machine is popular for in terms of power source? Battery support, of course! In conjunction with a corded power source, having a portable laser engraver with a battery option also makes it easy to use in any condition.

·         Laser Source

The laser source is also an important feature to look at when getting a portable laser engraver. Look for a machine using a noiseless laser source that makes the process environmentally friendly.

·         Connection Options

Although this might not be essential, it is never the less important. It is better to find a portable laser engraver that does not need to connect directly to a computer. Most portable laser engravers we know use USB sticks to connect to the computer. This further ensures ease of operation.

·         Weight

Portable laser engraver also varies in their portability due to the weight factor. This is based on the different features of the machine and the optimization given by the manufacturer. Therefore, when choosing a portable laser engraver, choose one with the right size and weight that can complement the functions. However, note that weight also drives prices. Therefore, portable laser engravers with a smaller size that can be used industrially, such as the portable fiber laser marking machine, have more features and higher prices.

How to Use the Portable Laser Engraver?

steps involved in laser engraving

Using a portable laser engraver might seem a little complicated. However, it is not. With the steps below, you can understand the procedure and utilize it in your projects. Below are our four important steps used in portable laser engraving.

Step 1: Get Your Ideas

This is the most important step in laser engraving. It involves deciding on what to engrave, the design of the text or image, the material to use, etc. You can get your idea around you. These include projects, environments, and the internet.

Step 2: Design and Input your Image/Text

After been armed with a good idea, the next step is to design your image or text. This is only possible on computers. In designing the image/text to engrave, compatibility between the files created by the computer and the laser engraver is important. Therefore, be sure that the computer program you are using is compatible with the software on the portable laser engraving machine. After designing the image or text, send it to the portable engraving machine.

Step 3: Make the Right Settings

After sending the design to the portable engraving machine, alter the design as much as you like. Then make the right settings. The control you have on the process depends on the type of portable engraving machine you are using. For example, with the 20w and 30w fiber laser marking machine, you can alter the font, edit the design, etc.

Step 4: Begin the Process

After making the right settings, place the materials you need on a flat surface. Place the handheld part of the machine on the material, and the process should begin. After completion, remove the material, and voila, you have an engraved material.

Video Guide On How to Use a Portable Laser Engraver.

What Materials Can You Mark and Engrave?

materials that can be engraved

There are many materials that you can engrave using a portable laser engraver. Therefore, the process is applicable in different manufacturing industries. Below are two categories of materials you can work with using a portable laser engraver.

·        Plastics

Plastics are another type of material that can be engraved using a portable laser engraver. Unlike the traditional laser engraver, the machine can work on hard plastics and other plastic types such as PVC, PP, and PE

·        Metals

Metals are the most suitable materials for laser engraving. They are heat resistant. However, you must be careful of the high-density laser irradiation when using a portable laser engraver for metal. Examples of metallic materials that you can engrave with the process include stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. Using a portable laser engraving machine for metal is popular in many industries such as aerospace, automotive, and electronics.

Why You Should Use a Portable Laser Engraving Machine?

why you should use a portable laser engraving machine?Portable laser engraving machines are popular in many industries because of their many advantages. Below are a few advantages you can enjoy when using the process:

·         It Is A Non-Contact Material Processing

Laser engraving, like other laser processes, is non-contact. Therefore, there is no need to clamp the material. Consequently, this will reduce the damage to the material. Also, because it is a non-contact process, there is no tool wears.

·         Maximum Precision

Laser engraving allows you to mark materials with maximum precision. Virtually everything that can be drawn can be engraved and marked using a laser. Also, because it is portable, the degree of dexterity in marking increases, making it ideal for many scenarios.

·         Features

Depending on the type of portable laser engraving machine you are using, you have many features to enjoy. For example, with the portable 20w fiber laser marking machine, you can enjoy a noiseless laser source, battery options, and software support.

Also, portable laser engraving machines are lightweight, which improves their portability. They mostly don’t require maintenance, and they have long working hours.

Get the Best in Terms of Laser Engraving and Marking

Portable laser engraving machines have a wide range of applications due to their permanent and deep marking. Its markings don’t fade off easily. Consequently, the machine is used in the automotive, aerospace, and engineering industries to mark serial numbers, logos, or product identification numbers.

This article discussed the laser engraving process and a portable laser engraving machine. Do you crave the need for accuracy and error-free traceability in laser engraving or other marking processes? Then Heatsign is your best bet. Also, for the best portable laser engraver for sale, you can check our recommended laser engraver below.

Portable laser engraver

Portable Fiber Laser Marker HS-PFL20 / 30

Handheld part weight: 3.3 kg

Output power: 20w / 30w (Max Laser)

Touch screen: 7 inches (integrated software)

Marking area: 100mm x 100mm

Whole machine Weight: 19 kg

Power source request: 220V or 110V

Portable laser engraver

Portable Fiber Laser Engraver  HS-PFL20S / 30S

Handheld part weight: 1.5 kg

Output power: 20w / 30w (JPT Laser)

Touch screen: 7 inches (integrated software)

Marking area: 110mm x 110mm

Whole machine weight: 12 kg

Power request: 110V or 220V (Optional: battery version)

Power source request: 220V or 110V

If you do not know how to choose, Contact Us Now