Usually, laser engraving machines produce color contrast by making dents in the material's surface for engraving purposes.
But usually, the color produced is mainly that of the material itself. Would you like to start a color laser engraving experience?
Colorful colors can make your products even more attractive. For a small business, this can be a very profitable business.
Here you will find all the information about color laser engraving and the best color laser machine for small businesses.
What is color laser engraving?
Color laser engraving means that the engraved design is colored. Color laser marking may be a more apt description of the process. This offers a huge business opportunity for many small businesses. The wide choice of colors gives you more top quality designs and is more attractive. However, there are differences in the process of engraving colored designs on different materials.
We can broadly divide the process of laser engraving color into two parts.
How does color laser engraving work?
You can achieve color laser engraving in two ways:
- The use of metal oxidation to produce different colors
- By using pigments or coloring paper to color the material
However, the materials used for both are different. We will now explain how you can achieve color laser engraving on metal and non-metal.
The process of color laser engraving
Color laser engraving on metal
We do not need to use colorants or pigments to color laser engraving on metal. Colored metal is engraved using differences in the laser's power, speed, and focus. The two most common engraving principles are as follows:1. A powerful laser beam melts the metal on the surface, during which the metal oxidises. When the engraving is complete, the oxidised metal adheres to the surface. This reaction is extremely subtle, and what appears to our eye is the engraving of a colored metal pattern. Metals to which this method is applicable include
- Stainless steel
- Chrome alloys
2. Another way to achieve colored metal engraving is to add an oxide layer to a metal surface that does not change color after oxidation. After the same steps as above, you can also achieve some exciting colors. This method is suitable for metals that do not change color after oxidation.
Color laser engraving of acrylic cannot be done directly like engraving metal. We need to use some tools to assist with this. The following methods suit all transparent non-metallic materials, such as glass, plastic, etc.
First, you need to prepare a gun and stickers. Then we will describe three ways to achieve colored engraving on transparent materials.
1. First, spray the desired paint or pigment evenly on one side of transparent acrylic with the spray gun
3. Then spray the frame color on top of the original color (you can overlay multiple colors). This time I just added a layer of black on top of the blue
4. Fix the acrylic plate and start engraving. As the depth of the laser engraving deepens, the sprayed colors start to appear. This way, you have a piece with color!
1. Attach the color paper painted with the color you want directly to the acrylic sheet and engrave it now using a laser engraving machine. The laser will now trap the color card's color in the engraved groove.
2. Then tear off the colored paper
1. You need to have Rub n Buff, towels, or cotton swabs ready
2. Then, we can color the pattern directly after the engraving is finished for materials with a smooth surface like acrylic or glass. Apply paint into the grooves of the engraving marks and wipe off the excess paint with a cotton swab or towel
These are just a few ways to color clear materials, such as plastic, acrylic, and glass. You can engrave intricate designs and then profit by having people hand coloring them themselves.
Wood does not have a smooth surface and is not transparent, so we can not use the three bars of the acrylic method to complete the coloring. So how do we stain it?
- First, cover the surface of the wood with transfer tape. Remember not to leave any air bubbles between the wood and the tape.
- Engrave the surface of the transfer tape directly with a laser engraver
- Then spray the surface of the tape with varnish or polyurethane
- After thoroughly drying the tape, spray the paint onto the surface. After the first layer of paint has dried, you can continue to apply a second layer, repeating the process several times for a more vivid color.
- When the paint is completely dry, slowly remove the tape and complete the pattern with the colors on the wood.
- First, carve the pattern into the wood
- Prepare the colored powder and sprinkle it evenly over the pattern. Then use a brush to clean off any excess powder from the surface slowly. The edges of the pattern are indented, and the powder will remain in the indentations when you have finished. The colored wood is now complete.
Marble can be manipulated similarly to glass as the non-carved areas of marble are also very smooth.
You wipe the paint over the carved marble areas and then dry the excess paint with a towel to obtain a piece of marble in color. You should choose a bright color, such as white or yellow, to contrast the marble more.
Carefully painting marble with oil paints is also an effective way to obtain colorful marble. However, this method requires a sure foundation in painting.
Best colour laser engraver: gweike cloud basic II
This is a 50w CO2 laser cutter. It is powerful and affordable, making it the perfect choice for many small businesses. You can engrave all non-metallic materials, including marble, wood, pearls, acrylic, and more.
The machine is suitable for most small businesses, DIY, and professionals.
The machine can engrave at speeds of up to 600mm/s and has an accuracy of 0.001". The sturdy metal frame ensures a long service life.
Color laser engraving makes your products more creative and attractive for people to buy. And the gweike cloud basic II can easily cut and engraved on metal, wood, and acrylic. If you have any other ideas for color laser engraving, please share them with us!