Top Sustainable Laser-Engraver Practices for Earth Day

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This Earth Day, OMTech is celebrating sustainability! Even though our lasers are primed for quick and efficient production—saving you time, money, and resources with speedy turnaround times—we’re challenging you to go above and beyond in our efforts to better the planet. 

Just like our lasers focus energy for precise engraving, we can concentrate our efforts on protecting our planet. What better way to reduce, reuse, and recycle than by utilizing sustainable materials? Additionally, it cuts down on costs by implementing environmentally friendly methods during laser engraving. Preserve your materials and the lifespan of your machine by maintaining sustainable practices for laser engraving!

Reduce Engraving Time

Optimizing your engraving process is one of the best ways to implement sustainable methods in your laser engraving business. Techniques such as using the offset fill method and increasing speed while reducing the LPI (lines per inch) can significantly reduce your machine’s operation time. 

laser engraving leather

Planning your engraving sessions thoughtfully and experimenting with the optimal laser engraving settings will reduce costs and energy while maximizing efficiency. Utilizing these methods ensures you use electricity only when absolutely necessary—saving money, extending the lifespan of your laser engraver, and preserving the planet!

Prioritize Air Quality with Fume Extractors

In our journey towards a greener planet, let's not forget about the air we breathe. Investing in a high-quality fume extractor or an air purifier is essential for any eco-conscious engraving setup. These accessories help keep your workspace clean and safe by removing harmful particles and fumes generated during the engraving process. 

laser engraver fume extractor air purifier

Instead of venting the air outside and contributing to air pollution, fume extractors like Filtrabox Expand X feature multiple layers of industrial-grade filters to remove virtually all laser engraving fumes and particulates. By utilizing a laser engraver fume extractor, you can enhance your workspace environment’s safety and cleanliness while helping the earth

Opt for Compact, Energy-Efficient Laser Engravers 

If you’re working on smaller, less-demanding projects, consider using a compact desktop laser engraver. These machines are designed to be more energy-efficient, making them perfect for small-scale projects without sacrificing the quality of your work. 

compact desktop laser engraver co2

The Polar 350 50W CO2 Laser Engraver offers ample engraving power while utilizing less energy than more substantial units. The compact nature of this desktop laser engraver saves on space and electricity while granting users optimal results. Use this compact laser engraver for laser engraving wood, leather, acrylic, and other materials! Those looking to practice sustainability while pursuing their laser passions can look compact, energy-efficient models like the OMTech Polar.

Consider Pre-Owned Laser Machines 

In the spirit of reducing and reusing, investing in a pre-owned laser machine presents a fantastic opportunity to practice sustainability. Not only does this approach give a second life to perfectly functional equipment, but it also minimizes the demand for new manufacturing resources and energy. 

At OMTech, we offer a range of pre-owned CO2 laser engravers that have been meticulously inspected and restored to their optimal condition. By choosing a pre-owned CO2 laser machine, you're not just making an economical choice; you're also making an environmentally conscious decision.

Use Recycled Pallet Wood 

If you’ve purchased one of our manual or autofocus CO2 laser engravers for wood, you should already have a pallet handy. After unboxing the machine, reuse the wood for your first wood engraving project instead of throwing it away. You can use a crowbar or saw to disassemble the pallet into manageable wooden slats. 

Once you’ve broken the pallet down, use wood glue and some clamps to combine the slats into a cohesive, engravable plank of wood. Simply sand the wood down to reveal the grain and start laser engraving! 

wood material for laser engraving

Use the wood to craft custom wooden coasters, room signs, puzzles, and more. If you need inspiration for your laser wood engraver, check out our Customer Gallery for more project ideas with your sustainable materials.  

Reuse Cardboard Boxes 

If you’re receiving tons of deliveries, you’re most likely getting these packages in cardboard boxes. While you can throw these boxes into the recycling bin, why not use them to create holiday cards, 3D structures, or intricate mandalas? Simply use a box cutter or scissors to cut away the salvage material and get started! 

laser engraved wood figurine of insect

The sky’s the limit for the products you can create with cardboard. Cardboard is a fantastic material for laser cutters and engravers due to its affordability, weight, and versatility. Cardboard is lightweight and can be both flexible and rigid. Craft custom boxes, figurines, and gift tags from delivery boxes, toilet paper rolls, gift wrap rolls, and more! Don’t throw away your cardboard—reuse it for your next project. 

Don’t Let Scraps Go to Waste! 

After you’ve completed a project with your CO2 laser cutter, don’t throw away the material scraps! At the end of the day, this material can still be used to create other laser-engraved products. Take it from Kristina, who uses her leftover wood to create custom pins, earrings, keychains, hair clips, and magnets. Ensure nothing goes to waste by utilizing the leftover material for small, unique pieces. 

laser engraving wood scraps

Coordinate With Local Industrial Suppliers 

Contact local suppliers, warehouses, or recycling companies for possible access to cheap and affordable materials. Industrial acrylic suppliers, for example, may sell leftover scraps and faulty pieces at a discounted price. Additionally, shipping centers tend to utilize wood or plastic materials when transporting goods, so get in touch with local companies to see if you can strike a deal with them. 

Not only would you receive laser engraving materials for cheap, but you would also help these companies reduce waste. In a scenario where everyone—including the planet—wins, why not take the opportunity to save a couple of bucks while saving the environment? 

Invest in Sustainable Materials 

Being eco-friendly definitely requires some foresight, but there are options for easy, everyday sustainability. Sourcing your laser engraving materials from environmentally-conscious businesses allows you to indulge in your hobbies without worrying about endangering the planet. Check out companies like Green Cast, a business offering 100% recycled acrylic sheets, and Smile Plastics, a UK-based operation that creates unique recycled plastic panels. 

Go Green With OMTech!  

And there you have it—a journey into the world of sustainable laser engraving that doesn't compromise creativity or quality! By embracing the ethos of Earth Day every day, we can turn our laser-engraving passions into a powerful tool for positive planetary change.

Use our exemplary laser machines for good by implementing sustainable practices in your small business. Our CO2 laser cutting machines themselves are eco-friendly, utilizing a long-lasting CO2 laser source that does not involve any hazardous chemicals or solvents for cutting and engraving. With precise and accurate results that decrease material waste, OMTech’s efficient laser technology is part of our commitment to preserving our planet. 

Armed with your laser, your creativity, and a dash of environmental consciousness, the possibilities truly are as expansive as our beloved blue planet. Happy engraving—and Happy Earth Day—from OMTech!

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