In the past, it was only really metal that was suitable for most engraving functions. However, modern CNC laser cutting machines are a good deal more accurate than the previous generation of technologies, and it is now much more of a practical proposition to engrave onto other materials.
In some cases, just adding some wording or a logo is all that is needed, but highly precise engraving is now also possible due to laser cutting technology. This means that a wide variety of component manufacturing can be carried using advanced laser engraving machines. Here are just some of the materials that are suited to this hi-tech industrial process.
Modern plastics of all kinds can be marked with a great deal of precision by laser cutters. Indeed, they may be engraved with a variety of methods using the technique. For example, with a CNC fibre laser, it is possible to engrave many of the commonly used commercial plastics without causing blemishes or altering the structural integrity of the material. This is a good option when you are marking designs or operating instructions onto products made of such plastics as polycarbonate, ABS and polyamide—to name but three. The process leaves a permanent and high-quality finish which won't rub off.
You may think that scissors are the best tool for cutting designs into paper, but laser cutting is increasingly used instead. Paper products, such as ornaments, greeting cards and invitations can all be improved by an engraved or cut-out design. Modern packaging will often stand out with a corporate logo punched into the paper or cardboard. Paperboard, corrugated cardboard and normal cartridge paper are all suited to laser engraving and cutting.
There can be few more durable materials than stone. Granite, marble, slate and basalt are all types of stones that are now regularly processed with CNC laser systems. Not only is error-free and elegant calligraphy possible using a precision laser engraver, but images are now just as easy to produce. If you want to make a photograph just about as long-lasting is it can be, then why not have it digitally uploaded to a computer-controlled laser cutter and let the machine etch it into your choice of stone for you?
Pebbles, porcelain and even salt crystals are all suitable materials for the process. Remember that, unlike milling cutters, individual tooling heads are required for different types and thicknesses of stone, so you can reproduce your engraving accurately again and again even if you choose differing stones in your batch.