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What’s the difference between laser etching and laser engraving?

If you’re looking for an effective way to create permanent markings on a wide range of materials, then laser etching or laser engraving could be the answer. While these two techniques may sound similar, they differ in the way they create markings on the surface. Laser etching involves melting the micro-surface of the material to produce raised marks, while laser engraving removes material to create deep, permanent grooves.

While laser etching may be a quick and cost-effective process, it produces markings that may not be as durable or resistant to wear as those created through laser engraving. Laser engraving provides a high-contrast colour that is highly visible, making it an ideal choice for industrial parts, signage, trophies, and awards.

The process of laser engraving is highly versatile, allowing it to be used on a wide range of materials, including plastics/acrylics, wood, leather, and rubber. It is highly precise and can produce intricate designs with great accuracy, making it popular for items where precision is key.

However, laser engraving is generally more expensive than laser etching, and it only produces markings in a single colour, which may not be suitable for all applications where multiple colours are required. The process is also time-consuming, and it may not be suitable for materials that are too hard or too soft or that are susceptible to heat damage.

Overall, choosing between laser etching and laser engraving depends on the specific needs of your application. Understanding the differences between the two techniques is critical in achieving the desired results accurately and cost-effectively. Both techniques offer a range of possibilities for marking and engraving materials, and their advantages should be weighed up before making a decision.