One of the most common questions we receive is "can you engrave metal".
The answer is YES...BUT...
Our current machines are CO2 laser engravers. With these machines we can engrave anodized aluminum and powder-coated stainless steel with no additional processes involved. We can put these directly into our machines and engrave right away.
However, for other metals like uncoated stainless steel, we use a special compound that is sprayed on the the bare metal. When this compound/paste is hit with the CO2 laser, it creates a chemical reaction where the compound is transformed from a liquid paste into a ceramic coating that turns black. This marking looks like it's an ink printed black mark, but it's a permanent coating on the metal.
When done correctly the marking can only removed with heavy adhesives like sandpaper or sandblasting. The marking is so good, they use this process in medical field for internal plates and rods for serialization and product stamping.
With our process, it is a great mark, however, it is not engraved INTO the metal like drag-bit engraving would do. So we can not get a deep engraving where it looks embossed (or debossed) in the metal.
One of the other draw backs is the other types of metals we cannot engrave on which are chrome plated steel or silver plated metal.
Here's a quick list for reference:
- Gold-Plated Metals
- Anodized aluminum - it's a different process, where the engraving is generally white, not black.
- Powder coated stainless - the engraving is removing the powder coating to reveal the stainless steel metal below.
- Heavily Coated Metals