FAQ

Laser Engraving

Prepare your design, measurements, and materials, choose the correct optics, use compressed air, and clean your machine frequently. Be extremely gentle when cleaning the laser head and reflective mirrors.

Primarily, always use personal protective equipment such as ANSI-approved laser safety glasses. Never use materials such as Kevlar, PVC, and materials containing chlorine, as they release gases that will cause permanent damage to the metals and harm to the user. Proper ventilation is required when working with materials such as wood due to the release of noxious fumes, smoke, or carbon monoxide. Finally, we recommend using air assist and exhaust at all times.

Depending on size, wattage, and other features, a laser wood engraving machine can cost anywhere from $400.00-20,000.00, on average. Here at OMTech, our machines range from $389.99 (40W CO2 Desktop) to $3,349.99 (30W Fiber Laser).

The following link has a list of suggested settings for several applications https://academics.design.ncsu.edu/it/kb/suggested-laser-cutter-settings/

Our desktop and cabinet lasers can engrave materials such as wood, glass, leather, acrylic, paper, and cardboard. Our fiber lasers are designed to engrave metal and non-metal materials like hard plastics.

Laser engraving is a non-contact process that uses an extremely narrow beam of light to vaporize the surface of a given material. In addition, only the targeted area will be affected during this minimally invasive process.

Yes you can! Once you install LightBurn (Version 10.1 or higher), you can connect your Mac device.

We recommend gently cleaning optics after every use, using optical cleaning solutions on mirrors, and cleansing your machine externally on a regular basis.

Laser engravers use concentrated heat and energy like a chisel to remove or modify a material’s top surface.

We suggest installing programs such as LightBurn and CorelDRAW when designing side-by-side with an OMTech machine. Other software to use are Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape.

For simple engravings, a good range of laser power is between 25 and 80 watts. If you are laser cutting or utilizing high-speed applications, however, the laser power should be more than 80 watts.

Desktop lasers are often used for small-scale operations like arts & crafts and hobbyist projects, whereas cabinet laser engravers are for large-scale ventures performed by various business industries. Both are capable of engraving applications such as wood, glass, leather, and acrylic. That being said, metal materials and hard plastics are suitable for fiber markers. Fiber markers are more powerful and engrave quicker than desktop and cabinet lasers by concentrating the laser beam into a thinner point.

Basic rotation axis attachments enable engraving on cylindrical and conical objects like glasses and megaphones. Our 80mm rotary attachment is for irregular-shaped objects like ceramic mugs.

Materials that should not be laser engraved with our machines are leather containing chromium, carbon fibers, polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl butyral. Polytetrafluoroethylene, beryllium oxide, and any materials containing halogens, epoxy, or phenolic resins.

Wood

Depending on the density of the wood, our laser engravers can cut between 1/16” to ¼”.

Wood types that are suitable for laser engraving include soft and hardwoods, coniferous woods, veneers, plywood, and MDF.

The marks engraved by laser engravers aren’t burn marks; actually, they are caused by the interaction between air and the laser beam.

CO2 laser engravers work perfectly for wood applications.

Depending on the speed and power settings stated in the manual, you can create various shade contrasts with the laser, resulting in high-quality resolution images.

Traditional wood types such as plywood, poplar, balsa, MDF, birch, alder, and cherry work amazing with our laser engravers.

Glass

Yes! Conical and cylindrical objects like glass bottles can be laser engraved, but require a rotary axis attachment, available on our site.

Depending on the type of glass and the lead content that you engrave, the material may crack. In order to reduce risk, place a damp paper towel on the engraving area to reduce the heat of the laser.

Yes, you can engrave laserable mirror glass with our CO2 lasers engravers.

In order to get the best result on your engraved glass, we suggest utilizing the damp paper towel method (as mentioned above) and using application tape. When applying these two methods, make sure that there are no air bubbles or overlaps between the towel/tape and the glass.

We suggest any CO2 laser engraver in our product line. The desktop models work best for small projects like arts & crafts, whereas our cabinet models work best for larger-scale business projects.

Leather

There are several categories of leather that can be ranked by quality. Full-grain leather possesses the highest quality, followed by top grain leather, corrected grain, and lastly, bonded leather.

We suggest any CO2 laser engraver in our product line. The desktop models work best for small projects like arts & crafts, whereas our cabinet models work best for larger-scale business projects.

All of the leather categories listed above work well with our laser engravers. However, darker leather materials produce a minimal contrast with the engravement, whereas light-colored leather shows more contrast in color.

Depending on the wattage of the laser engraver, our 40/50W CO2 lasers can cut between 1/16” to⅛” and can reach ¼” after several passes. Our 80/100W CO2 lasers can easily engrave between 1/16” to ¼” in one pass.

As previously mentioned, darker leather materials produce a slight-contrast in color; therefore, they are more difficult to engrave than light-colored leathers.

Make sure you set your laser engraver to the correct power and setting (as listed in the manual).

Acrylic

To get the clean, white finish on your acrylic, we suggest avoiding too much power and lightly engrave the surface.

All CO2 laser engravers in our product line. The desktop models work best for small projects like arts & crafts, whereas our cabinet models work best for larger-scale business projects.

As previously mentioned, we suggest laser engraving acrylic on low power to avoid cutting too deep.

In order to get the white finish on your acrylic, we suggest using cast acrylic. However, cast acrylic doesn’t produce flame-polished edges. Extruded acrylic, on the other hand, is less expensive than cast and produces a flame-polished edge.

Depending on the wattage of the laser engraver, our 40/50W CO2 lasers can engrave between 1/16” to ⅛” and can reach ¼” after several passes. Our 80/100W CO2 lasers can easily engrave between 1/16” to ¼” in a single pass.

Metal

Our fiber marker machine works best for metals and hard plastics, possessing the highest power and highest speed. Our CO2 lasers are capable of engraving several laserable metals, but require pre-treatment with laser spray.

You cannot engrave with a fiber marker. Fiber markers are used to etch designs on the material. However, our CO2 Lasers are able to lightly engrave metal, but require a metal spray/bond.

Depending on your desired result, the annealing process uses high temperatures to change the material’s color. Deep engraving, on the other hand, reduces the volume of the metal and changes the color as well. With the correct power and settings (as listed in the manual), you can engrave deeper texts, logos, serial numbers, and more!

Make sure you set your laser engraver to the correct power and setting (as listed in the manual), and apply the spray coating, if necessary.

Accessories

Rotary axis attachments are designed to hold and help engrave cylindrical, round, and conical objects. This includes bottles, ball-shaped objects, cups, and more.

Our rotary axis attachments are perfect for engraving metal, but it needs to be connected to a Fiber Laser Marker for immediate markings. Our CO2 Laser Engravers require pre-treatment of laser spray and several rounds of lasering to engrave on a metal material.

Once installing the cylindrical object to the rotary axis attachment, you need to adjust the laser head and focus distance of the machine that best suits the position and design. Next, you connect the rotary axis attachment to the laser machine. Finally, you change the axis from Y to rotary axis to begin lasering.

Laser chillers help remove the heat generated by the laser engraving process. By doing so, the accessory chills the water at a consistent temperature and flow rate. As a result, this process helps extend the service life of the laser tube.

The type of cooling depends on several factors; laser wattage, resonator efficiency, ambient temperature, and resonator/optics temperature requirements.

The cooling capacity of our 9L Industrial Water Chiller (CW-3000) is 50-100W; whereas, our 6L Industrial Water Chiller (CW-5200/5202) is 100-150W.

Parts

The service life of our CO2 Laser Tubes depends on the power (Wattage). Our 80W and 100W CO2 Laser Tubes has a service life of 8000 hours. Our 40, 50, and 60W CO2 Laser Tubes have a service life of 1500-2000 hours.

Our CO2 Laser Tubes range from 40-100W, producing a laser beam at a wavelength of 10640 nm.

A CO2 Laser Tube is a gas-filled tube (mix of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium) running electricity to produce light. The tube has two ends consisting of mirrors; one being fully reflective and the other letting some light through to produce the laser beam.

Our collection of power supplies possess a input voltage of 110/220V, max input power of 450W, maximum input voltage of DC 35kV, and a maximum output current of 23mA.

Our power supply parts work between the temperatures of 14-106︒F.

Software

If operating with a laser engraver by OMTech, we suggest using LightBurn and CorelDraw. LightBurn allows you to import the design, make modifications in the layout and alignment, and work side-by-side with the laser engraving machine. CorelDraw serves as a graphics suite, allowing you to design your creations, as well as modify the layout, alignment, and more. For more questions and information on both softwares, you can visit their FAQ pages at https://forum.lightburnsoftware.com/c/faq/19 and https://www.coreldraw.com/static/cdgs/product_content/cdgs/2018/membership/cdgs2018-upgrade-program-faq-en.pdf

Depending on the software used, these programs allow you to upload your design or create it from scratch. After setting up the alignment, speed/power, and other settings/layouts, your design will be processed by the laser engraver and the lasering process will begin shortly after.

To begin, crop your image to a perfect size and layout, then remove the background, convert the image to grayscale, and finish any additional edits to your image. The editing process includes color indexing, sharpening, and more. Finally, when your image is ready to go, convert and export the file in a format that best suits your laser engraver machine.

This depends on the type of machine you are working with. Our CO2 Desktop Laser Engravers are capable of processing images in TIF, BMP, JPG, JPEG, WMF, EMF, and PLT formats. Our CO2 Cabinet Laser Engravers allow HPLG, BMP, GIF, JPG, JPEG, DXF, DST, and AI formats. Finally, our Fiber Laser Markers can process images in BMP, GIF, JPG, DXF, PNG, and AI formats.

CorelDraw Graphics Suite X7 allows you to install the software program on up to 3 computers at once. However, this program can only be administered by one owner. For further information and assistance, you can visit their website at https://www.coreldraw.com/en/?link=wm

LightBurn allows you to install the program on no more than two computers at once. For more information, you can visit their licensing page at https://lightburnsoftware.com/pages/how-the-lightburn-license-works#:~:text=How%20many%20computers%20can%20I,allow%20it%2C%20at%20no%20cost