Laser Engraving is a process by which patterns and signs are engraved on an object without using ink or any other medium. There are special kinds of laser engraving machines which are made of novel metal alloys and laser sensitive polymers. There are main three parts of these kinds of machines. They are the laser, the controller and the surface on which the laser has to be emitted. Laser is a structure similar to that of a pen which emits a beam on the surface on which something has to be engraved. The controller controls the intensity and the speed of the beam.
There are once again three main types of laser engraving machines. They are machines with stationary work piece, with cylindrical work piece and lasers. The first type is also called the X-Y table named after the direction along which it moves. The second one carries a movable work piece with a stationary work piece. The laser follows a helical path. In the third category, both the laser and the work piece are movable. When the laser is allowed to pass over a surface or the area which has to be engraved, energy gets accumulated and the laser heats up. The surface material thus gets vaporized and a part of it is removed. This engraves the desired pattern on the surface. In this way many patterns can be engraved on the surface. The controller could also be programmed for the same purpose. The path which has to be followed is stored in the controller. The changes brought about in the speed and the intensity of the beam also determines the design which has to be engraved.
Using the laser engraving machines, not only wood and metals but also plastic, stone and glass can be engraved. The machines are of great use to the jewelers. Sub Surface Laser Engraving is use to engrave on solid transparent material. Some other types of engraving are flexographic plates and cylinders engraving, laser imaging etc.