A guide to DIY laser engraving

Laser Engraving

Laser engraving your next big project is an exciting proposition. There are definitely some parts of the process that you can take on your own. Here is a short guide on DIY laser engraving if you want to experiment or learn how to make professional looking designs without outsourcing to anyone else for certain things.

Getting the Right Machine

Power is the most important aspect of your laser engraver. What surfaces will you be engraving on, and how much power do you need to get the job done? More powerful engravers that print on more difficult surfaces are more expensive. In most cases, a range between 300mW and 1000mW is enough to do what you have to do without breaking the bank. As an example, you can easily engrave on cards and wood with a 500mW machine. Once you know what you need, you can find a laser engraver in the UK for the best results.

Setup

As you unbox your new laser engraver, you must make sure that you do not mistakenly loosen any parts of it. It will be wrapped tightly on purpose, so take your time. If you are using a blade to cut through the tape, bubble wrap and nylon, be sure not to scrape your beautiful new machine!

You may need to tighten some screws, so check around before first use. Grab a screwdriver and make that happen.

Protective Gear

Laser protection eyewear is essential for using any laser engraver. The best solution, however, is to not look at the machine at all while it is in use. Unless you went all out on the budget, you are not dealing with a fully professional machine. Professional machines take extra measures to protect the user. Because of this, you need to pay special attention to protect your eyes.

Protecting your eyes means staying away from engraving on white color. White reflects the light a great deal, which can be extremely dangerous. Along with white, try to stay away from metal, lenses or mirrors. These require special engravers.

Testing Your Machine

At the very least, you should have a single data port and a single power port on your new machine. Take the time to learn the difference, as they may both look similar – as in the case of a USB power port and a mini USB data port. Connect the power before the data port.

Place the engraving surface right on the engraving board. You may need to use rubber bands here to make sure things don’t move unexpectedly. Focus the laser to the height of the surface that you are engraving on. You should see the laser pointer on the surface when it is held still. Put on your protective eyewear and adjust your focus.

If you do this right, your engraver should impose a dot on the surface. First, click your preview button. If everything looks great, then you can feel free to start engraving! In most cases, you can stop the engraver by pressing the same button, but refer to the instructions to be sure.

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