Laser Engraving Applications

Our laser upgrade kits are versatile tools that can be used for many projects and applications.  It is extremely good at engraving objects such as wood, and even cutting thin materials like plastic and balsa wood.  It is also good as a foam cutter, working on some hobby foams and the pink foam from Home Depot.

The laser can be focused to a very small spot, which can give it the opportunity to engrave and mark very small fonts and logos or pictures with very fine detail.  Since the spot is so small, there are no obvious “rectangular” oddities that appear with some other diode laser etching machines.

The new PRO lasers have a square beam, which helps to increase resolution and power density.  Check out the gallery of customer projects used with our 7W lasers.

Engraving on Wood

Engraving on wood is easy with the J Tech Laser. The more power you have the faster you can engrave. Different types of wood will engrave with different darkness. Grain will also effect the color of the engraving.

Engraving on Slate, Granite, and Stone

Engraving on dark stone, granite and slate works great and leaves a permanent white finish to the product.

Cutting Wood and Veneers

Cutting thin plywood and veneers is possible, but sometimes slow. The best method is to go slow and use multiple passes. Items that are hard to cut with the router will be easy with the laser, like mother of pearl. Getting the higher power lasers and adding air assist option will allow for better cutting ability.

Engraving Tiles (Norton Method)

This is the new trend. Use white paint on a ceramic tile and when engraved, it turns black and leaves a permanent mark.

Engraving Photos on Wood

Engraving photos can be especially cool when completed on wood. Here are some good examples of detail achieved with the J Tech lasers. Lightburn software is great to do photos on GRBL based machines!

Laser Engraving on Leather

Leather engraving can be a really cool outlet for artistic creation. From belts, to wallets, to handbags, there are a lot of items to personalize. Just make sure you have fume extraction or good ventilation when using the laser on leather.

Laser Engraving Glass and Clear Acrylic

Our lasers are in the visible spectrum, so it will go through clear items. If you put a coating on it like a sharpie marker or paint then you can engrave on it and it will leave a mark. You can also use painters tape as well.

Laser Engraving Foam

Open and Closed Cell foam is great for packaging and for cases. You can cut through the foam as well as engrave on it. The 7W PRO can cut through 4″ in one pass and engrave at high speeds.

Laser Engrave EVA Marine Foam

The marine industry uses a lot of different types of EVA foam brands and our lasers can engrave on them all. Customize your foam deck installation with your boat name, logo, or design.

Laser Engraving on Mirrors

You can engrave on the back of a mirror to take off the reflective coating to make cool art. You can even paint the areas you engrave to make it pop.

Laser Engraving 3D Reliefs

When you have a laser added to your CNC, it is cool to do a carve and then engrave on it. What if your carve is 3D? Well, you can refocus the laser to under the shroud or take it off and do some amazing work.

Laser Engraving Food

You wouldn’t necessarily think of engraving food, but it is pretty cool to do. Add your logo, photo, or saying to your favorite foods. Every Thanksgiving we engrave our pumpkin pie. Start your own engraved food tradition!

Laser Engraving Plastic Signs

There are plastic that has two layers from Rowmark and Johnson Plastics that can be engraved to reveal the bottom to make signs and plaques. Best to start with the dark color on top and finish with a light color on the bottom.

Laser Engraving Anodized Aluminum and Painted Metal

Engraving on anodized metal is best with at least the 7W laser, but it works really well. Make sure the anodization is dark for better results. Painted metal surfaces can also be engraved by removing the paint.

Laser Engraving and Cutting Fabric

Engraving on your favorite jeans or shirt can be done to make a cool look. Also, cutting fabric for making clothes or quilts can be done easily.

Laser Engraving Cups

You can easily remove paint off tumblers or engrave directly on stainless steel ones. You need to go really slow for the stainless steel, but removing paint is fast.

Laser Engraving Cork

Cork engraves very well with the J Tech 7W laser. You can make coasters all day!

Laser Engraving Gun Parts

We get asked this a lot and never know the correct answer. Here are some parts that customers have engraved with our lasers so you can tell if it will work on yours.

Laser Engraved Painted Tiles and Canvas

Another method for making really cool engraved art is using multiple layers of paint and then engraving just enough to remove a layer to expose the layer underneath. Here are some examples.

Cutting Balsa and Basswood

This is one of the cooler applications of the upgrade kit, the ability to cut thin balsa and basswood.  Hobbyists like to use this to make their own model designs and try them out.  Other people use it to make art.  Any way you use it, it is pretty neat to have a light cutter right on your desktop in your 3D printer or on your CNC machine.

Balsa can be cut up to 1/8″ thick as well as Basswood.  These are very non-dense woods, so they cut pretty nice.  Click here for more information on cutting wood.  Here is a picture of some test cuts:

Laser Cutting Balsa Wood with J Tech Photonics 445nm Laser Upgrade Kit
wood star cut

You can get pretty adventurous with your creativity and make some interesting art pieces.

Cutting Foam Board (Hobby Foam, Foamular, and Depron)

Foam is an excellent material for use in many hobby projects.  Many people make airplanes and drones out of them and architects can use it for complex models for showcasing new designs.  The good news is that it cuts the very cheap Foamular brand foam found at Home Depot (up to 1/2″) as well as the thinner hobby store foam board and office depot presentation board.  It also cuts into black Depron really good!  Click here for more information in the blog post.

Here is a 1/2″ thick Foamular cut with the laser and some cuts with hobby store foam:

Fomular laser cutting 1
Foam Board Cutting Detail Cuts - 1W Laser

Cutting black Depron (packing foam)

Laser Cutting Custom Solder Stencils

The laser has enough power to cut very thin plastic for use in many applications.  Here at J Tech Photonics, we cut thin transparency sheets (the kind for the old overhead projectors) to make SMT solder stencils for new board projects.  It cuts really good with very defined corners with minimal melting.

For more information on cutting solder stencils using our process, read the blog post here:  Laser Cutting Solder Stencils

Laser Cutting Solder Stencils using 445nm Laser Upgrade kit

Laser Marking Circuit Boards

Sometimes it is needed to put marks into the FR4 layer of a circuit board for specific sorting or documentation purposes.  The laser works perfect for removing just enough FR4 to create a visible mark or text.  It also works on the silkscreen areas where hand marking is normally done.  For more information, see the blog post here.

1W 5_6mm 445nm Laser Marking Circuit Boards natural lighting

Laser Cutting Poster Board and Card Stock Paper

This is an easy application for the laser and it performs very good!  You can cut all types of poster board and paper and make very intricate designs for projects.  Here is the entire blog post with details.

Laser Cutting Poster Board and Card Stock cut

Making Custom Prototype PCBs

If you are using the toner transfer method to make your own custom prototype PCBs then this method is WAY better.  Get higher resolution, finer trace widths, higher pitch, and more control over your PCB.  Just paint the copper with flat black fast drying spray paint (available at Home Depot) and remove it with the laser.  Check out the details in our blog post here.

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Buy an Upgrade Kit for your CNC!

Remember Safety First!

445nm Laser Shielding Measurement 500x500

 We sell laser shielding to block laser radiation and reflections!

Laser Safety Goggles 445nm

Laser Goggles are also a must!

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