How to Laser Engrave – Laser Engraving Explained

Lasers are no longer reserved for science fiction. Now you can use the power of lasers for custom decoration! Here at Merchology, we use laser engraving to apply your logo to a wide variety of custom accessories. Be sure to check out our complete laser engraving capabilities!

How Does Laser Engraving Work?

The term “laser” is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. You can think of laser engraving as essentially carving with heat. A beam of light is reflected through a series of mirrors, amplifying and concentrating the light into an intensely heated focal point. This heat source is used to remove material from the surface of your product to create your custom design.


Step by Step Guide to Custom Laser Engraving

Custom laser engraving may sound like an extremely complex process. However, once you have the supplies it’s actually one of the more straightforward decoration methods out there.

  1. Import the Design – your company logo or custom design is programmed into the engraving machine’s software.
  2. Position the Product – the product you are decorating is positioned and secured in the laser engraving machine.
  3. Calibrate the Machine – the laser engraving machine is adjusted for the proper design orientation and laser temperature.
  4. Fire the Laser! – the laser is turned on, converting light energy into heat and directing it onto the product. The laser will then follow the pattern instructed by the machine’s software to create your design.
  5. That’s a Wrap – once the engraving is complete your product is checked for quality, packaged, and shipped right to your door.

What Equipment & Supplies are Needed for Laser Engraving?

  • Computer – a computer with graphic design software is needed to create your design and translate it into a pattern that the laser engraving machine can read and transfer onto your product.
  • Laser Engraving Machine – the laser engraving machine registers your design and applies it to the desired surface using a certain type of laser.
  • Lasers – two types of lasers are commonly used for decorating promotional products: CO2 lasers and Nd:YAG lasers. CO2 lasers are typically used on wood, glass, fabric, and lightweight plastics. On the other hand, Nd:YAG lasers are higher energy lasers that are used to engrave metals and denser plastics.
  • Product – finally, you will need your desired product. Make sure the laser you are using is suitable for the material of your promotional product. Check out our complete selection of laser engraved products.

Next Steps

Now that lasers aren’t as much of a mystery to you, go ahead and see if custom laser engraving is the right customization method for your product selection in our Laser Engraving Capabilities & Applications Guide or check out alternative decoration methods in our complete Custom Decoration Methods Guide. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!