Laser

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cnc laser cutter

Welcome to CNC Establishment if you are one of our first time readers. If you’ve been here before, then I’m excited to have you back as I cover the topic of cnc laser cutters.

Cnc laser cutters are cool. I’ve seen some fantastic machines come out over the last decade and it is an exciting time for cnc laser cutters – both pre-made machines and the diy cnc laser cutter scene.

I’m going to go over some top brands that you should be keeping an eye out for as well as some machines that I think are definitely worth a look at.

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Are you looking at getting laser cut aluminum? Well getting your laser cut aluminum is a great idea, depending on the purposes. There are also many other methods that you could consider.

So what’s the difference between laser cut aluminum and other methods?

laser cut aluminum

Laser cutting aluminum – Uses a laser metal cutting machine normally controlled by cnc (computer numerically controlled) software.

Laser generates heat while cutting which will cause heat discolor and possibly deform your pattern. The upside to laser cutting is that the laser can be used for etching, so you can etch part numbers as well as where the joins will be.

Laser cutting aluminum requires the use of high-pressure nitrogen instead of oxygen. This may mean that cutting speeds can be slower than plasma cutting. It also means that operating costs are higher due to the use of a lot of nitrogen.

Laser cutting also requires a large upfront cost. You will get your moneys worth if you do need something that is highly accurate and if you need high edge quality. Laser cutting stainless steel or laser cutting metal is excellent if you need the advantages mentioned here, as they are hard to come by with other methods.

Using a laser cutter is also great for custom laser cutting. Custom metal laser cutting may require nesting on sheets. The accuracy of a laser means parts can be nested a lot closer together to save material.

Another benefit with laser cutting is that you can do laser tube cutting, so you can laser cut tubes to a high accuracy. Tube laser cutting has gotten big over the last half a decade with lasers being able to cut complex shapes and joins for both aluminum pipe and tube using multi axis machining.

plasma cut aluminum

Plasma cutting aluminum – Plasma cutting uses gas to cut your aluminum. You can get a much cleaner cut if you use an argon/hydrogen mix with aluminum.

Of course, you can use different gases and mixtures to help optimize your cutting speed and your cutting power relatively. Many manufacturers within the construction industry are successful in using plasma cutting for cutting aluminum.

In terms of tolerances, plasma can be quite good. Maybe not down to a thousandth of of an inch, but more like plus or minus 20. This is well within the tolerances in many industries where plasma cutting is used for aluminum.

Water jet cutting -Using a waterjet to cut materials means using a high pressured jet of water to cut through your metal or anything else for that matter. The whole process is compared to water erosion, but on a much accelerated level.

The biggest advantage is that there is no heat affected zone when cutting aluminum with a waterjet. This means the material’s inherent structure is preserved, ensuring 100% strength. Using a waterjet also means that there is less waste as there is no hazardous waste produced.

Another huge advantage is that there is less airborne stuff in the air such as dust particles and fumes compared to other methods and laser metal cutting.

Fun Fact: Waterjet cutting reduced the risk of cross contamination in the meat cutting industry as well.

Router cutting aluminum – With a wood router, it may be difficult to cut aluminum. You need a slower speed than what a wood router would give you, so usually around 10-14,000 rpm with smaller cuts. You may also need cooling liquid as well.

You could also check out onsrud.com for a  full line of router bits for cutting aluminum. Of course, it all depends on your router, as not all are created equal. I always recommend to ask around on online forums or talk to your manufacturer to see what can be done.

If all else fails, always test first. Use a smaller sample of the material and see how it goes and then move on or up from there.

Other Options aside from laser aluminum cutting

There are other options aside from laser cutting aluminum or doing any of the above, such has using a table saw, circular saw, skill saw, or a variable speed hand held router.

Of course, it all depends on the project at hand and how much time or money you may have to get the project done. Sometimes a simple tool or machine is all that is needed, but for greater accuracy and precision, you may want to get your aluminum cut with the proper laser cutting equipment.

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tube laser cutting machine

Are you looking at getting laser tube cutting done? Well there are a ton of different machines and equipment that you can use to get your laser tube cutting done.

Below is my guide on the top laser tube cutting machines and tips on how to go about getting your tubing laser cut.

In no particular order, these manufacturers have some great laser cutting machines:

BLM Group – Check these guys out for sure. They have arguably the best laser tube cutting machines. With a good range, they definitely rule over the competition. With 7 Co2 laser Co2 cutters and 2 Fiber cutters for laser tube cutting, there is some solid selection here. BLM laser tube cutting machines are definitely worth checking out due to their massive range and options.

Mazak laser – Another company definitely worth checking out. They have some really solid laser tube cutting machines for tube and pipe cutting.

The three models I recommend are the Space Gear U44, Space Gear Mk II, and the Fabri Gear. The last one, the Fabri Gear is a rugged, 6 axis mill that will be perfect for long tube and pipe.

K2 laser system – These guys have solid laser cutting machines for tube. Their K2CM series is the way to go. They have both fiber and C02 cutting lasers. On their site, they also have a guide for operating costs and laser features. This site is definitely worth checking out.

VernonTool – Industrial pipe cutting machinery. This place has some great machines that are of really good use. Unfortunately, they do not do cutting with laser, only oxy/fuel, abrasive and plasma. This is the only one mentioned here that is not a cnc laser tube cutting equipment manufacturer, but has some other solid options for cutting tube or pipe.

Trumpf Machines – These guys have a couple of high end laser tube cutting machines that are worth a look. The models are the TruLaser Tube 5000 and the TruLaser Tube 7000. These cnc machines are industrial sized, so make sure you have a huge workshop for these machines.

Choosing the right laser tube cutting equipment – Important things to Consider

laser tube cutting

Definitely check out the manufacturers listed above. Obviously I won’t be able to recommend an exact machine for you as it all depends on what you will be cutting, the size and how often you will be cutting. There are a ton of other factors to consider too. These might include:

CNC software – Cnc software, as well as cad/cam software can be super expensive. Sometimes easily up to $10,000 and over for a single license or seat.

Be aware that it is hard to find cheap, good cnc software, so you will have to factor this into the cost of purchasing a machine. There are also yearly updates that will cost you money too.

Cnc operator training – This can be costly. Most of the time when you are buying a new machine that comes with proprietary cnc software, then you will usually get training.

This may be in the form of a technician coming out your way and training you how to use the laser tube cutting machine and software. If you are buying a used machine, this crucial training will not come with the machine.

Maintenance costs – A cnc tube laser cutting machine is expensive. You may have to buy new parts and keep old parts up to shape. Keep this in mind when buying an expensive machine that needs expensive parts. A new machine should come with a good warranty to cover you, but ater this runs out, you are on your own.

Tube laser cutting services – How to outsource correctly

Another way you could go is outsourcing the laser cutting process. So instead of investing all the money upfront, you can get your tubing cnc laser cut with someone that specializes in laser cutting tube.

One place I recommend that is worth checking out is CRD laser tube cutting. CRD cut tube with their own tube cutting laser. Of course, anyone who is good and is closer to you will do the job fine. After all, its not how great the machine is, its all about what you need to get the job done.

Also, for outsourcing and getting the best laser tube cutting information, it is best to check out more than one place.

I normally go and check out or get in contact with as many as possible. Every place will have different machines, so it is best to see what they each have to offer and how much it will cost. Prices do vary a lot between different cnc companies.

Make sure you have a great cnc operator doing the job. Check to see what he or she has in terms of examples. See if they will be able to give you what you want in terms of quality of finish, price, deadlines and technical skills.

Can I buy a used machine?

laser cutting tube

Buying a used laser tube cutting machine is going to be hard and I do not recommend it. I recommend buying new from one of the manufacturers above or outsourcing your work using the tips above.

The reason behind this is that the used market for laser tube cutters is not that big right now. It is a relatively new technology that is very expensive. Because of this, companies are keeping their machines for longer, and older machines become obsolete fast.

To stay up to date and make sure you get quality, it is much easier this point in time to just buy a new machine or outsource the task. Good luck!

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3d laser crystal etching machine

Getting an amazing 3d laser crystal engraving can be a beautiful thing. You are going to have to make sure you find the right person who can do the 3d laser crystal engraving for you. The best way to get a great 3d laser crystal engraving done is with the right 3d laser crystal machine.

I’m going to talk about the best engraving machines for your crystal as well as some other info that will be handy for you.

Top 3d laser crystal engraving machine

Epilog – Epilog is made in the USA and has a solid line up of 3d crystal laser engraving machines that you can choose from. I rate these guys highly. Their machines can engrave and cut almost any material.

I couldn’t name a single machine that is best for you, as I always recommend checking the selection and then going from there to decide what is best for you. They also have a pre-owned section that you can check just in case a good laser engraving machine comes up.

3dlasermachine – 3dlasermachine.com has some good machines available (as well as a very old school website). These guys are based in the U.S. and also worth checking out for a good price comparison.

Leaguelaser – These guys are based in China and have a good range of sub-surface cnc 3d laser engraving machines for crystal and glass. Always worth a try to get in touch and see how much the machines are and how much shipping will be.

Getting a great 3d laser etched crystal

3d laser crystal engraving

Getting an etched laser 3d crystal as a gift is an awesome idea and has that personal factor involved as well. Below are some steps that I would recommend you reading to help you get the best engraving possible.

1. Communicate clearly what you want. You could bring a picture in of something or have a handy sketch ready to show. Words can sometimes be hard to define a picture, so having the actual picture helps a lot.

2. Set your boundaries. Things such as scale, size, shape and even resolution are important things.

3. Make sure to see samples of their previous work and see just what your engraving will come on, for example, ask to see a sample size of the crystal that will be 3d laser engraved.

4. If you need a custom 3d laser crystal engraving, then you may have to allow for a certain amount of time. Lead times (how long you will have to wait) can take a while if there is a backorder of projects. Also, the project may take longer as it is a custom project.

5. Make sure you have a finish time and something to match the finish with at the end. A lot of engravers sometimes deliver different results to what they have said. With laser engraving, the engraving should be pretty precise, but you never know, so it pays to make sure the engraver has an exact example of what they will be able to deliver.

3d laser crystal photo

Getting a 3d laser photo crystal is also a great personalised present. Use the tips above and bring in a photo for the etching. You could also have your face encased for a loved one, so they will never miss you (bad joke, I know).

Of course, as said above, check out what the engraver has and make sure he or she can show you some examples of previous 3d laser crystal etching they have done in the past. I wish you all the best 3d laser engraved crystal gift for your occasion.

3d laser crystal gifts

I have done a bit of hunting around and these are the best crystal laser 3d gifts out there. There are some cool designs at some very reasonable price. Check them out below:

 

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laser cutting tempered glass

So you are looking at getting laser glass cutting done with a machine? Well laser glass cutting with the right machine is actually pretty easy.

Below I will take a look at some useful tips to look for when trying to find a good laser glass cutter and also help you out by identifying what the best laser glass cutting machine is.

Best brands of laser glass cutting machines (in no particular order)

Epilog Laser – I have mentioned these guys before. Epilog has a solid line up of different machines for Co2 laser glass cutting as well as glass laser cutting for many different sizes. They have a great comparison chart on their website.

There are 3 different series, the starter, legend elite and the FiberMark industrial series. They have Fiber as well as Co2 lasers for their different types of laser cutting machines.

Sizes range from 16″ x 12″ to 36″ x 24″ and come with features such as drop down doors and high speed servo motors. Their share range and options make them a definite place worth checking out.

Trotec laser – Trotec is also a solid brand. They have 3 specific laser cutting machines that are definitely worth a look, the Speedy 100, 300 and 500.  They range from a work area of 24″ x 12″ to 49″ x 28″. The laser cutter speedy 500 even has a cool little animation to watch if you want to see it in virtual glory.

Universal Laser Systems – These guys have a very impressive and solid range. They have 12 laser glass cutters, from desktop to free-standing, they have a very good range. One of their machines even comes with multi-wavelength which sounds pretty cool. Sizes for Universal’s machines range from 16″ x 12″ to 48″ x 24″.

RMI Laser – Made and supported in USA, these guys also have some good laser machines, the only downside is that they are laser marking machines, not cutting. So they are a lot smaller and will not be able to cut large panes of glass.

Laser Cutting Tempered Glass

laser cutting glass

The only way you will be able to cut tempered glass is with a cnc laser cutting glass machine. If you try yourself without a laser, you will have to de-stress the glass, a process called annealing. This means you will need a craft oven and you will have to heat up the glass to 900 degrees F.

To avoid doing the above, you will need a solid laser machine to do the job. If you can not get a machine, another thing you can do is outsource the task. So you can outsource the work to a cnc operator who operates a laser cutting machine that can cut glass. Check out the manufacturers above that I have recommended to make sure you get something that will do the job properly.

Outsourcing may be the way to go as it is a lot cheaper than buying a laser machine up front. Also, you are always limited by size depending on the kind of machine that you have. So outsourcing may be even more of an option if you don’t have the budget or space for a machine that will do all your tasks. Below is my guide on successful outsourcing:

Outsourcing your glass cutting with laser technology

Yes, outsourcing your work can be a daunting process, especially the first time. This can be true especially for glass. It is super fragile and expensive, so transporting it is also a factor too. Below are some helpful hints to get you outsourcing your glass laser cutting efficiently.

First of all, always make sure you call around and get some quotes with different people. Each place will have different laser glass cutting machines, so will vary on price, as each machine and the software that goes with it will vary a lot in price, so that cost is offset to the consumer usually.

Take a look at previous examples of work and possibly ask about different clients they have had in the past. Always ask to see some examples by saying you want to see the finish on a product. Check to see how smooth the cut is without any polishing done to it.

Specify exactly what you want and the price. Laser cutting of glass is expensive and will cost a fair bit, so do not expect a really low price. Go with something reasonable knowing that the finish is very important.

Look at different cutting/etching options. Some machines may cost a lot more, but provide a better finish. If you do not need accuracy or specific finish, then you may be able to get away with outsourcing to a cnc operator with a cheaper glass laser cutting machine or laser etching machine. Ask to see what laser they have, I recommend a Co2 laser glass cutting machine over other lasers.

Buying a used glass cutting machine

Going used is a good option, but in this niche can be very hard. It may be a lot easier to get other cnc routers, but laser glass cutting machines are very hard to come by. This is because the technology is rather new, so older machines get outdated easily. I have seen some machine auction sites that we have discussed in previous articles that may be worth a look.

Good luck on finding the best glass cutting laser machine!

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laser glass etching

So you are looking at getting a laser glass etching done? Well laser glass etching is a great way to extend your brand out there or personalize something like wine glasses or beer glasses.

Below is an info guide on all things laser etching for glass, to help you figure out what you want and what laser etching is all about, including what the best machines are and where to get one.

What is laser etching?

Laser etching involves marking a glass with a laser. With a laser, you can etch very lightly. Because of this, you will not be sandblasting and you can create some pretty cool and detailed etchings onto a glass.

There is no masking involved and a lot of machines turn the glass for the laser, so everything is nice and easy and most importantly, even.

The most common laser type is the Co2 laser used for laser etching in glass.

What can be laser engraved?

Anything with glass can pretty much be engraved. Certain compound shapes may not be, but if it is symmetrical along one axis, for example a cup. Some machines have a rotary attachment that will allow you to laser etch glasses, beer mugs, cups, wine bottles, plaques and glass ornaments.

Laser etching is a great alternative to other methods such as sand blasting your glass.

What is the best laser glass etching machine for glass?

laser glass engraving

I can’t really recommend a specific model, as it really is up to your design and manufacturing specifications to choose which one will best suit your needs. I do however recommend checking out Epilog.

Epilog – Epilog has been around for a while and are based in the U.S. They have a good selection of glass laser etching machines for glass at prices that start under the $10,000 USD mark. These guys are definitely worth checking out.

RMI Laser – These guys are worth checking out too and are also based in the U.S. They have different types of laser etching machines including a multi-purpose laser marker.

Trotec – Another company based in the U.S. that is also worth checking out. They have three enclosed machines that you could possibly consider.

Universal Laser Systems – They have 12 laser engraving machines to choose from. These are enclosed systems. This is a great start to see what is available out there, then you can drill down and pick the best machine that suits your needs for laser etching on glass.

How to laser etch glass?

1. First of all, you will need to get set up with a laser etching machine. The most common is the Co2 laser. You will need some sort of rotary attachment to turn circular objects if you need to etch something cylindrical in shape.

2. Make sure you have the design sorted and exported to a cam/cnc program. The machine will then be able to run virtual runs to see if it can do the glass etching laser job properly without etching other areas of the glass on mistake.

Once this is done, it is time to etch the actual glass itself. I always double check to make sure all the cad files are perfect and that there are no errors.

3. Secure the glass object and if needed, use laser glass etching equipment to dissipate heat to prevent cracks etc.

4. Etch away. Remember that some glass can be different, such as high end crystal. This may mean you need to adjust the Co2 temperature accordingly when laser etching glass of different types.

3d laser glass etching

laser glass etching

Getting a great 3d glass laser etching is actually very easy. Actually the laser stays still, while the work piece is rotated around the laser. This makes 3d laser etching glass a lot easier. You can get a good rotary attachment that will rotate your work piece accordingly.

Be sure to check out the above brands as well as the above tips to help you choose the right glass laser etching machine. It pays to always test first, before proceeding with etching a whole batch, which can be a costly mistake if done wrong.

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laser paper cutter

Are you looking for the best laser paper cutter or trimmer? Well laser cutting paper can easily be done with a good laser paper cutter. I have compiled a guide for all your laser cutting needs including what the best machines or products are and what to look for in a good machine. Here we go:

Best laser paper cutting machine

Below are some manufacturers that I recommend. I won’t recommend an exact model, as there are many different sizes and purposes for each machine.

I would recommend you check out my pick of brands and drilling down from there to get something great for your project needs.

Trotec Laser – Trotec has 3 laser cutters for paper. The Speedy 300, Speedy 500 and their large SP1500 all come with Co2 lasers. Each has different power outputs and work areas and is definitely worth checking out as Trotec Laser always does a solid job with their machines.

If you can find an alternative, then all you really need is a paper laser cutter that has a small bed size with a laser that is Co2 (as long as the paper is not corrugated). Something that has higher power, preferably over 25 watts and a machine that is faster will help produce much better results.

DIY laser paper cutter

laser cut paper

Another alternative to purchasing a machine or outsourcing to someone else is to make your own diy laser paper cutter machine. A diy job is a lot more satisfying, and in some cases beat the best paper cutter and saves you a lot of money. There are a few solid tutorials around available on the net. Check out the following:

– DIY. How to build a homemade router laser cnc right here

– Laser cutter, start slicing stuff for under 50 dollars right here

Outsourcing laser paper cutting to someone with a laser paper cutting machine

Instead of buying your own machine, you can outsource the process. Here is my personal step by step guide on how to outsource paper laser cutting:

1. Make sure you have a design in mind. Even better would be to have a vector file created already in a program such as Adobe Illustrator or the free alternative Inkscape. AutoCAD does vectors as well, but that cost a lot more and is more for manufacturing/construction purposes.

laser cutter paper

2. Find someone who has experience cutting paper with a cnc laser cutter, check samples.

3. Make sure that you know what time and date the cutting will be finished by. Also be clear on the scalesize, and finish. Sometimes a sample does not do your final outcome justice.

4. Places to go would be cnc places that have specialised laser cutting machines and specialist stationary or print shops that do this kind of stuff.

5. Prices always vary, so call around or take your file in to see how much it will cost if you are doing a large run. Remember, sometimes you get what you pay for. But with my experience in this, sometimes the place that is cheaper does laser cut paper incredibly well.

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Far out, finding the right laser etching machine is tough work. There are a ton of different independent brands out there, that finding and comparing the best laser etching machine prices can be very tiresome.

I suggest looking at some top brands and then discern from there. I could not recommend just one machine for you, as everyone’s cnc status and what they want to do is different. If you aren’t going to outsource, then buying a machine is a huge investment and should not be something you get solely based on what other people are using.

In no particular order:

Epilog laser engraving machine

1. Epilog – Epilog is a solid brand and have 7 laser etching machines available. The 7 machines are split into three different series. This helps users drill down on what they need fast. They have both Co2 ad Fiber laser machines. Their machine bed sizes range from 16″ x 12″ to 36 x 24″.

2. Trotec -Trotec has a solid line of laser engraving machines, 9 to be exact. They have both Co2 and Fiber laser etching machines. Their machine bed sizes are measured using the metric system, and range from 610 x 305mm (24″ x 12″) to a huge 1500 x 1250mm (59″ x 49″) with lasers that range from the 10W mark to the 400W mark depending on the machine.

3. Universal Laser Systems -Universal Laser Systems is an International company which is great for support. These guys are probably the most comprehensive laser etching machine suppliers I have come across. They have 12 laser etching machines available. They range from 16″ x 12″ in bed size to 48″ x 24″. They have a lot of variety here and I definitely recommend checking these guys out for their selection for sure.

Red Sail laser etching machine

4. Red Sail – Red Sail have two models of laser etching machine for sale and have contacts in Canada and China – So makes it a good option for those living within Canada or China. Bed size is from 500 x 700mm (20″ x 27.5″)  to 600 x 900mm (23.5″ x 35.5″) for their two models with a 50 and 60W laser respectively. These machines can be used as a laser glass etching machine too.

5. Kern -Kern does all different scales, but their website does not have individual product information, so you will have to give them an email. They also have a granite laser etching machine option that will enable you to engrave granite if that is something you are in need of. You may be able to find a glass laser etching machine there too.

NOTE: For a 3d laser etching machine, check out this guide. Also model range and information is subject to change as suppliers and manufacturers change their stock and availability, so always check with the respective supplier first for further information. My goal here is to just give you a solid outline to start on, and for you to dig deeper to find the machine that will be best suited for your purposes. Good Luck!

 

 

 

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wood laser engraving machineBuying a new laser engraving machine can be daunting. There are a lot of solid brands and machines out there, but there is no one place where you can go and get some solid, gathered advice. So this is where I will try and cut some of the work down for you.

Below is a guide on what the best laser engraving machines are to buy:

Top Engraving machines (in no particular order) – This list goes by supplier/manufacturer so you can choose what particular machine is best for your needs.

Universal laser systems (U.S.) has a lot of variety in terms of models. As of Jan 2012, they have 12 models of engraving laser machine for sale. There are a few models that are even small enough to fit onto a desktop. Great for both a laser wood engraving machine and small laser engraving machine for your work-shop.

Epilog (U.S.) have a solid selection, with three different series: Epilog Zing starter series, legend elite series and the FiberMark industrial series line of laser engraving machine models for laser engraving wood. These are all worth checking out.

Epilog has been around since the late 1980’s so are a trusted company to deal with. They also have a solid comparison chart so you can compare the difference between their laser engraving machine models.

RedSail also have some good models over at hflaser.com (contact details to Canada or China). They have two larger models, the M700 and the M900 that do laser engraving with a C02 laser tube.

Trotec laser engraving machine

Trotec has a solid range of C02 laser engraving cutting machine units. As of Jan 2012, they have 6 in  their collection of laser Co2 machines, from desktop laser engraving machine to larger machines definitely worth checking out.

York Laser (Europe and China) has 8 laser engraving machines at the time of checking, with one being able to be used on a desktop, once again, they have a solid range.

Jorlink – (U.S. and International) has a really solid range of machines and laser engraving machine prices.

Jorlink has 7 specifically designed for laser engraving, and a whole range of other machines designed for laser marking and other production needs.

WK Laser (China, but ships to U.S.)

Top Software for laser engraving

Coreldraw: Coreldraw has Graphics Suite X3, which is a pretty solid package that includes the ability to engrave and draw

Gravograph: Gravostyle 5 is definitely worth checking out from Gravograph

Xentech Global: Xentech Global has a software package called XGW-32 which is designed for both the beginner and advanced user

Kern lasers: Kern Lasers have developed their own package for 3d laser engraving which is worth a look

Things to think about before buying

laser wood engraving machine

– There is a difference between a Co2 laser  engraving machine compared to a laser engraving cutting machine. You need to decide what you will be doing more, marking, etching, engraving or cutting with your laser and go from there. It is better to get a more specialized machine to your needs.

– If you choose to import a machine, you may save money if done right, but you will also lack local support which sometimes can be a huge factor.

– Remember to factor in cad/cam program costs. CNC software can get really expensive. A single licence for a top end 3d cad program can cost over $10,000. For a free open source vector based piece of software, try Inkscape.

– You could go the used laser engraving machine route. Finding one for sale can be hard and will require a lot of patience. You could head on over to the cnczone forum and see what advise the community will give you there.

-For 3d laser engraving machines, check out this earlier article.

-Start with the manufacturers above. Remember that the best machine isn’t any one particular machine. There are always trade offs. Things like maintenance costs, upfront costs, size, extra features can sway anyone any way. Choose what is best for you, not what others say is best for them.

 

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3d laser engraving is a great process for getting smaller objects, such as crystal engraved. 3d crystal laser engraving has blown up recently and people are using laser 3d engraving to get the job done. Below is my guide on this whole process, the best machines to buy and use, and what to look out for when getting into this process.

Below is how my guide will be split up. Feel free to jump to the sections that best suit you.

3d laser engraving

1. 3d laser engraving process

2. Using cnc laser engraving

3. 3d laser engraving crystal

4. The best 3d laser engraving machine

5. 3d laser engraving software

6. Final Thoughts

The 3d laser engraving process

Laser engraving, also called laser marking, uses a laser to 3d engrave an object. There are no tool parts that directly touch the object. Everything is done with a laser that gets fired through a block of material, such as crystal.

The process involves 3d laser engraving equipment such as a laser engraver. The appropriate material is then chose and put onto the engraving machine’s bed. This is then held securely using either clamps or vacuum suction. The laser then comes through and engraves or marks the object. The machine is usually controlled by a computer program. The computer program or cnc program usually produces the final results in a virtual environment, so you can preview before cutting into expensive material.

Using cnc laser engraving – laser engraving 3d

3d laser engraving machine

Cnc, otherwise known as Computer Numerically Controlled, means to use a computer to control your manufacturing process combined with a machine. It is essentially a computer program that runs the 3d crystal laser engraving machine.

There are huge advantages to this as opposed to operating a machine by hand. Some of the advntages include being able to predict and see what the final end product will look like in a virtual environment. The computer can also optimize your cutting and engraving paths, to make sure you minimize on material usage. This is seen a lot in the sheet metal cutting industry, where nesting programs are used to minimize material loss.

Cnc laser engraving is seen in many different industries, such as the toy, jewelry, crystal and glass industries. If you are reading this, then maybe you come from one of these industries yourself, or want to jump into one of these industries. Not to worry, read on to find out my favorite picks for machines to use for your 3d laser crystal engraving.

3d laser crystal engraving

What seems to be all the rage these days are 3d laser engraved photo crystals and gifts. I’ve seen crystal engraved books, wedges, plaques, portraits, ornaments and tons more. If you are looking at engraving, try to think outside the box to see what you can really come up with. Some of the above ideas make for some pretty cool gift ideas.

The best 3d laser engraving machines

There are many different laser engraving machines out there, but finding the right 3d laser engraving machine for sale can be tough. Below are some of my recommendations. Click through for more information and the exact 3d laser engraving machine price.

If machines are not what you are after, check out some of these awesome 3d laser engraved gifts:

3d laser engraving software

There are actually quite a few options, check them out:

Gravograph: Gravograph have a solid program called Gravostyle 5

Coreldraw: Check out Graphics Suite X3 for a good package that includes the ability to draw and engrave with the right machine

Xentech Global: They have a software package called XGW-32 which is fairly easy for the novice to pick up

Kern lasers: These guys have their own 3d laser engraving software package for 3d laser engraving that may also be worth checking out

Final Thoughts

Finding the right 3d laser crystal engraving machine can be daunting and the whole laser engraving process can be a little unknown. But it certainly is making its mark on many different industries right now, so get among it. Grab a machine or go and get yourself a souvenir using this cool process.

For further reading, check out our guide on how to get the best 3d laser engraving machine.