Laser Engravers: The Best Wood Sign Engraving Machines
Wood engraving is a timeless craft that has been used to create wood signage for centuries. In recent years, modern technology has enhanced engraving, with laser engravers becoming the most efficient and versatile option. Whether you have a business producing engraved wood signs for clients or you are simply an enthusiast, choosing the best wood sign engraving machine is vital to your productivity and quality of work.
Laser engravers can open many possibilities without sacrificing your time, creativity, or money. With so many ideas, let's start with laser engraved wood signs and how they can improve your business.
Highly Efficient Laser Cutter for Wood Signs
Being able to streamline the production of your wooden signs is essential, and using a laser engraver will allow you to do this and save you time and money.
You certainly know that time is money for your small signage business. The hours it takes to be creative with engraved wood signs shouldn’t be jeopardized by time in production with a Dremel or traditional cutting machine. This is especially true if you are producing a large quantity of the same design.
With laser engravers, you will be able to stay laser-focused on marketing your products and spend less time producing them. Here are some reasons a laser engraver will save you time:
- Laser cutters for wood signs create flame-polished edges, eliminating a lot of the need for secondary processing, saving you time after the initial laser cutting.
- When producing multiple projects with the same design, wood laser engravers have the precision to provide identical results every time by keeping the layout in a database. This is excellent news if you are mass-producing the same engraved wood sign because you will not have to reconfigure the engraver's control system each time.
- There is no need to babysit the laser engraving machine as it works - very little can go wrong! You can use that time to get other things done.
- You do not have to worry about being familiar with and changing out the different bits that CNC routers use for different sized cuts. Only one laser is used at various speed and power settings that you can quickly preset in a computerized controller.
- Laser engravers work at high speeds – usually up to 400 to 600 millimeters per second – allowing you to have significantly faster production times. In fact, this is a huge reason many former CNC router devotees are switching to CO2 lasers to create engraved wood signs.
The amount of money you spend on tools for your engraved wood sign business depends on your budget. Doing thorough research before spending your hard-earned money is wise. In many cases, a wood sign engraving machine can offer significant savings as compared to a CNC router. Choosing a laser cutter for wood signs will burn through wood with beautiful results, but it won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
- There is very little tool wear on the laser machine, saving you money on replacement parts. In comparison, CNC routers use various drill bits and other parts that often wear down, making your replacement costs much higher.
- There is little breakage of material done by the laser engraver itself, so waste is minimal! Waste can have a huge impact on the bottom line of your small business, and the precision of laser engravers helps to prevent mistakes while cutting.
Creativity is important if you’re in the signage industry, so of course, it’s also important that the tools you use be able to bring the small details of your engraved wood signs to life! There are several reasons why laser engravers are the most versatile tool for engraved wood signs:
- A laser can engrave wood signs anywhere between 1/16-3/5” deep into wood panels (depending on your chosen laser wattage and power settings), allowing a variety of designs without sacrificing the wood’s integrity.
- Do you like the natural look of burnt edges on your signage? These can be incorporated into the wood to add character and darker designs.
- Laser engraved wood signs come out with sharper, cleaner edges as opposed to a CNC router that removes material by a spinning cutter head, resulting in frayed wood pieces. This feature is critical if you need to make smaller letters in your laser engraved wood signs.
- The detail that a laser cutter for wood signs can provide is unmatched - making them invaluable to DIY enthusiasts and professionals who need unique results. Be ready to engrave your dream designs into reality!
- You can get creative (and go crazy) with your wooden designs using software such as the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 with its many illustration and editing features.
- Multi-layer images are possible to create various measurements of depth which is a great feature for making larger signs with complex detailing.
CO2 Lasers: The Best Wood Sign Engraving Machines
CO2 laser engravers are a great option for engraved wood signs and will significantly benefit your business or craft. Since you might be asking the burning question of how a CO2 laser works, here is a brief explanation: When electricity runs through the gas-filled (CO2-filled) tube that has mirrors on both ends, light is produced. One of the mirrors fully reflects the light, while the other lets a bit of light through, guiding the laser beam into the wood.
Here are some advantages of the CO2 laser cutter for wood signs that you may find to be helpful:
- Settings: The effects that a laser has on wood depend on the power and wavelength of the laser itself. The composition of the wood can also have an effect that makes choosing the type of wood you want to use a fun experiment!
- Non-contact: The laser beam does not physically touch wood in the engraving process, causing minimal damage and (maybe more importantly) minimal cleanup.
- Safety: Laser engraving does not use a blade, and the beam itself is concealed in a small box, making it very safe to operate. However, safety goggles for extra protection should be a regular habit whenever using engraving equipment.
What If I Already Have a CNC Router?
While they are a bit rough around the edges, there is no question that a CNC router is valuable in the wood cutting and engraving industry, so having one already is a great foundation! Your wood sign production will only be enhanced by adding a laser engraver - it can take over many of the CNC jobs, getting them done more efficiently. The laser engraver can also be used alongside a CNC to create even more dynamic designs. By starting a project on your CNC router and finishing the details with a laser cutter for wood signs, you will enhance your results and save wear and tear on both wood sign engraving machines.
Your Laser Engraved Wood Signs Business
Are you considering a laser engraver for your business or craft because of its cutting-edge technology? Depending on the size of your engraved wood sign business, you may want a specifically-sized laser engraver.
- For small businesses and professionals, larger CO2 laser engravers such as the 100W C02 Laser Engraver Cutting Machine from OMTech Laser (shown below) will handle the heavy-duty job of getting a higher quantity of signs completed on time.
- For hobbyists who are not needing to mass produce large amounts of the same design, there are desktop laser engravers that are ideal and more cost-effective, such as this 40W CO2 Laser Engraver Cutting Machine from OMTech Laser, which is beaming with potential!
There’s no question as to whether or not a laser engraver will be beneficial to your new or existing engraved wood sign production, and it will keep you on the cutting edge of engraving technology. A laser engraver will simplify your production process and finish your designs exactly how you imagined them. Being proud of your craft is important and having a quality product starts with having quality tools!
About the Author
Faith is a Technical Writer who has experience with writing blogs and website content for various companies. She has also produced software and procedural documentation for companies such as Apple, where she continues to work full time. Researching and learning about different technologies is a hobby outside of her work, and she is often experimenting with her family’s CNC machine. Faith is from Albuquerque, New Mexico but is currently based in Oklahoma City.