Laser marking machines effectively get your company name or logo out there in the marketplace in a very direct and visual way. However, there are so many options available that it can be hard to decide which one will work best for you! This guide on how to choose the right laser marking machine will help you evaluate which features are essential and which ones can wait until later upgrades, resulting in the most cost-effective product that meets your needs and budget.
How Does a Laser Marking Machine Work?
To understand how a laser marking machine works, you have to understand how a laser works. A laser uses light energy (think of it as electricity on steroids) and amplifies it at one wavelength while also keeping it contained. There are different types of lasers, each with its own characteristics. However, in order for a laser marking machine to work, you must use what’s called marker material.
Choosing the Right Laser Marking Machine
• Material to be Marked/Engraved
The material your laser will be engraving or marking is a significant factor in your choice of machine. Generally, common materials include plastics, glass, rubber, and metal (metals may require an abrasive). If you are unsure of what type of material you need to mark or engrave, some resources can help you with choosing an appropriate material for your laser.
Your budget needs to be realistic to rule out any laser marking machine that costs more than your budget allows. Having a specific number in mind helps you determine what you need and don’t need, narrowing down your search immediately. For example, say your budget is $5,000; you now know not to consider any laser machine that costs less than $5,000 or more than $5,000.
• Consider Maintenance Costs
Some laser marking machines will be more expensive upfront but lower operating costs over time because they don’t require maintenance as often. If you are trying to make a product for sale in bulk, it may be worth saving on your initial purchase of a machine that requires more upkeep. However, if you only plan on using it occasionally, then it may be worth investing more initially and buying one that requires less maintenance and doesn’t break down as frequently.
• Consider Resale Value
One thing you want to think about before making your final decision is resale value. While laser machines have relatively short lifespans—mainly when used constantly—there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell yours at some point in order to get more bang for your buck. If you’re producing work with a high turnover rate, look for models that will retain their value well over time.
With so many different manufacturers and models, choosing a laser engraver is a daunting task. To make an informed decision, you’ll need to consider your needs, budget, and what you expect from your new machine. You’ll also want to investigate how long a particular brand or model has been in business. This guide should have made things easier by breaking down some of these considerations into sections.