Metal Engraving: Engraver vs. Custom Engraving

The art of metal engraving has been with in practice since the industrial age when man started using different forms of metals. This time old practice has become prominent over time and it remains important to date. There are many occasions where metal engraving comes in handy. The making of Tools, ornaments and even weapons such as guns and swords are some instances where this art features prominently. It is also good to take note of the fact that ornaments also do well with an engraving depending on the design.

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Over the years, engraving technology has evolved. That is the reason there are about seven different methods so far that stay in use. These methods include hand engraving, machine engraving, acid engraving, pantograph engraving, computer engraving, cast bronze engraving and laser engraving. All these methods have varied approaches although the finished product has many similarities. To get a better understanding of the process, this post will concentrate on more details about the metal laser engraving process.

Why Metal Laser Engraving Seems To Be the Preferred Choice Today

Although the engraving exercise dates back several centuries, technological innovations in the modern world have seen new changes in the way this process happens. Laser metal engraving is one of the latest technologies in the sign world. For many years, engraving technology is used on signs to produce unique boards that are tough enough to withstand harsh weather as well as any other difficulties that signs have to face.

Unlike in the past where blacksmiths used casts or tool bits to press marks on pieces of metal, laser technology uses more advanced systems to do the same thing. In this latest engraving process, the operator uses laser to vaporize off some outlined parts of a metal piece to make a desired mark on the metal using a series of beams focused on the object.

The use of laser beams makes this process more accurate and easy to execute. The fact that you can use different kinds of lasers also makes this method applicable on a host of materials ranging from rubber to plastic, rubber, metals and even glass. A major advantage of using laser metal engraving technique is in the fact that you do not have to get physical contact with the materials being etched.

The reason is that laser engraving cuts off the selected areas without having any physical contact due to the use of non contact distance sensors that also guarantee high accuracy. It eliminates the running costs that ordinary etching brings about such as bits and lots of force from the artisan carrying out the exercise. It is however important to point out that you cannot carry out the task without a good metal engraving kit.  You can see some pretty cool metal etching examples at Boss Laser.

What Is A Metal Engraving Kit And How Do You Choose A Good One? 

Similar to all other technical procedures involved in handling metals, metal engraving also requires some tools to do. There are many brands of hand engraving kits in the market. Most of them come with engravers of different sizes and shapes. The shape and size are mostly determined by the intended task. There are smaller ones designed for people who want to engrave marks on smaller objects such as ornaments that need special precision and accuracy.

Looking to Buy a Metal Engraver?

With the knowledge that a metal engraver makes marks on certain surfaces, it is always important to start by looking at the intended job. This is vital because it will help you choose the proper tool from the many designs in the market. The tool bits that come with your tool kit are also important because their toughness will either enhance the performance of your kit or its inability to carry out the task at hand.

Because the metal engraver has to punch marks on other metal surfaces, you have no option but to choose tool bits made of alloys that are tougher than the metals you will be engraving upon. This is the only way you can have your tool bits last longer and save some money. When you have weaker tool bits, you will have to incur losses by buying new bits each time one of them wears out or breaks in the course of duty.

“Fiber laser and Yag laser technologies are currently the best way to cut metal.  It’s much more efficient than CO2 laser machine technology.  A co2 laser machine is much more efficient with non-metalic materials such as wood or acrylic.  Metal tends to reflect the co2 wave length.  However, treated metal etches beautifully.   This page shows you some of the most popular materials along with the laser settings for lower powered CO2 laser machines.  Also, CNC laser cutters as well as plasma cutters are also effectively growing technologies for cutting steel.

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Why Custom Engraving Costs Slightly More 

In the artistic sector, everyone understands that special orders cost more. The main reason for this is the extra attention and special designing that goes into such productions. Many engraving companies that produce bulky orders often cast their etching plates and produce their pieces in bulk much easily. When a client makes a special order for a custom engraving on an item, this means that the artist has to start this job from scratch. It might need new plates, casts and even die. It is for this reason that the engraving artisan will ask for extra payments and even a deposit amount before embarking on such tasks to avoid costs.