What Exactly Is Laser Cutting and Engraving!? (to us!)
Before buying any product,be it online or in person, you should know what you are purchasing!
A large amount of people do not understand what they are buying (or more so how items are really made) when buying laser cut products… From an image, it is “just a name” or “a heart made out of wood with names in it” etc.
In short, yes that is correct. However lets talk about HOW laser cutting products are manufactured (and yes we are the actual manufacturers of these items, they are not purchased from others and forwarded to you).
Laser cutting is done by a machine (ironically called a laser machine) , this machine holds a very high powered laser tube (glass or metal) which is very high voltage. The tube produces the charge of power when initiated and strikes a couple of mirrors into the head of the laser,which then comes out in the bottom of the laser head. This then burns into the material which is under your laser head. It burns what ever design a human has designed and programmed into the computer or file and sent to the laser machines brain (another computer).
So YES your product is BURNT out of the wood or acrylic material used. This is what laser cutting is!
YES the wood or acrylic will have a smell to it from being burnt out by the laser…naturally. This smell does subside in time.
YES the item can and may have some burn marks or scorching on the back or front of the product. It cannot be helped, it cannot be controlled by a human.It is simply where is has been placed on the bed of the machine and the laser beam penetrates the material which burns the design out and in turn, may leave burn marks on the product, it is usually more so on the back of items.
You can remove or reduce this by very simply using some light grit sand paper to remove the marks. Alternatively you can of course paint over the product to cover the marks. Remember most people do paint the items or are not bothered anyway as it is on the backs or bottoms of the items so will not be seen.
We have actually been asked many many times to flip the images so the burns are on the front as they love the burn marks!
Something we see often is people sending images to us thanking us for their beautiful products, and we notice that the stand is upside down. Marks on stands are on the bottom,so if your stand is showing marks,flip it over!
Engraving, this is also done by the laser machine however the machine settings are changed to make the steps the machine performs to be different. Rather than cutting through to cut the design out of the material, engraving marks the wood to enhance details or make text.
Here is an example of engraving (these hearts are laser cut and then engraved with text):
Below is an image of different types of burn marks that may arise on the backs (or undersides) of your products, this is the normality spoken of which is simply from being laser cut. It does not happen on all items, however just know its perfectly normal if it does! You can read our painting tips here too: Tips and Tricks For Painting MDF