X -Y rails for metal engraverIf you’re looking for a laser engraver or cutter you probably already have an ideas as to what materials you want to laser etch or engrave. In many cases the type of material you want to process will dictate the type of laser machine for sale you research. For example if you’re only interested in cutting or engraving small 12×12″ pieces of wood, acrylic or other organic material – than a desktop size hobby laser engraver may all you practically need.

Depending on the type and thickness generally wood engraving does not require a lot of power. The same holds true with most acrylic or plastics. The power for the laser becomes critical when you need to cut through deep material. If speed is not an issue than you can cut through material by commanding the laser software to make a second pass cutting through the material.

On the flip side if you’re looking at an industrial sized laser to process metal such as stainless, soft steel, aluminum, brass, titanium, silver, copper, and other alloys check out fiber laser technology.  Whether that be cutting, marking, or engraving stainless steel or aluminum then you can still us a much higher powered CO2 laser cutter but it doesn’t have the wall plug efficiency that Fiber has.   A fiber laser will both engrave and cut with more efficiency and focused power compared to CO2 laser technology. The spot size for fiber is much smaller and capable of cutting through material without that much power.  A popular laser cutter manufacturing company in the USA that offers affordable engraving machines is Boss Laser but there are other options if you want to spend more money and not concerned about price.

One other thing to realize is that if you only need to mark the surface of the material and not remove or etch into the substrate than you can use a co2 laser to mark most metals that do not have a highly reflective surface through the use of treating the surface with a compound called Thermark or Cermark. This compound after treated to the surface of the metal will bond to the metal leaving a permanent mark. Many part suppliers are looking for a CO2 laser engraver sales for just that reason. Also, you can find co2 marking help here: