Laser Engraving – In the knowPosted on Monday, May 22nd 2017 by Rich

Laser engraving is the key to getting noticed

Laser engraving has become integral to what we do here at Oak&Ford.  Make your business and brand stand out with intricate laser engraving and cutting.  Today we quiz Rich about the lasers and what they can do for you.

WHAT IS A CO2 LASER?

The CO2 laser was one of the earliest gas lasers to be developed, invented by Kumar Patel in 1964.  These are currently the highest-power continuous wave lasers on the market.  The power output is measured in wattage and they range from 10 watts all the way up to 200-300 watt on some of the large format machines.

Well, you did ask!

WHAT IS LASER ENGRAVING?

Lasers are highly accurate machines with the ability to engrave, cut and mark an array of man-made and organic materials.  If you really want your brand to get noticed and stand out when put in front of your customers, laser engraving will produce your branding or message with precision and sophistication.

WHAT CAN THE LASERS ENGRAVE?

Our lasers have the capability to engrave, cut and mark wood, leather, card, paper, plastic, acrylic and metal.

WHAT LASERS DO OAK&FORD OWN?

We currently own two CO2 machines.  Our large format machine is a Piranha 1800 which is a large format machine from China.  We bought this in 2012 and it really transformed our output.

In 2015 we purchased a medium format Austrian Trotec Speedy 300.  This is a model is hugely more technically advanced than the Piranha.  This was a game changer for me as the software that runs this machine is so intuitive.  The level of detail which can be achieved with the Speedy 300 is phenomenal and still amazes me every time I use it.

WHAT IS THE LARGEST SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT CAN BE ENGRAVED?

The breadth of scale that we can engrave on is amazing.  One of our machines allows engraving on products up to 1.3 metres.  This machine operates in a way that allows us to engrave large sheets in sections.

WHY LASERS AND NOT A SIMPLE FIRE BRAND?

This is a very simple one to answer: in a nutshell it’s all about the clarity and consistency.

In days gone by the branding of wood, would have been done using an iron that had been cut, bent or folded into the desired shape.  The iron would be heated and then pressed onto the surface of the wood.  Wood is an organic material and therefore no two pieces are ever the same, this means no two brands will ever appear the same. The iron maybe held on for a split second longer or the iron maybe slightly hotter or the wood could have a hard grain.  Combine any of these together and you can end up with an un-eligible burnt mess.

Lasers work on power and speed.  Once these settings have been worked out it is very easy to achieve the same effect time and time again.  Humans are amazing but by removing that element you can achieve unbelievably consistent results.  Our lasers create a perfectly clean engraving every time, with no over-burn and no charring. The only bi-product created is a slight oily residue which collects around the engraving.  This is wiped off with a damp cloth.

For more information about what we do and what we can do for you, visit our What We Do page.