Marking can take many forms, but laser engraving is one of the most accessible and versatile. Site managers, manufacturers and even hobbyists use the process in a variety of applications. Laser engraved signs and awards are so common that most people have seen them, but the engraving method can be used in other ways. Below is a brief discussion of the most common uses for a laser engraver, as well as tips on hiring a professional to perform the service.

Trophies and Awards

A laser engraver can create legible, clean carvings directly onto surfaces. This factor makes the method easier to use and more enduring than stain, paint or embossing. Therefore, trophy and award makers use laser engravers on wood, metal and glass, among other materials.

Creating Barcodes

Many items have barcodes, from groceries to industrial machines. Most barcodes are printed directly on adhesive-backed paper, but certain items cannot be barcoded using this method. An engraver can cut a barcode directly into an item to avoid problems in the following situations:

  • When an item has an adhesive-resistant surface
  • Excessively large items
  • Where an item would be used so heavily that a conventional barcode would quickly be worn away

Decorative Annotations

When buying jewelry as a gift on a special occasion, many engrave special phrases or dates onto the piece. Sellers offer the option of including commemorative or decorative engravings on watches, jewelry, glassware, silverware and party favors such as bottle openers.

Electronic and Medical Components

Certain parts of electronic and medical devices require precise identification, especially during times of high stress. To ensure the continued identification of these parts, some manufacturers choose to etch them with a laser engraver. The process provides legibility, durability and simplicity when marking a significant number of parts at the same time.

Many sign makers use laser engravers to design individual parts using a CNC system. A computer numerical control system uses automated engraving equipment to produce one-off items as well as mass-produced components. Consult a professional metal fabricator or laser engraver to determine whether the scope of the project warrants the use of CNC equipment.

4 Uses of Laser Engraving in Business and Retail