In vector engraving, the outline of the design or layout is followed by the laser beam, this laser beam does not cut through the material but instead scores the surface. The depth of the scored line can be adjusted using more power or reducing the speed of the laser passing over the material. When the file is imported from the computer software the outline is engraved. The axis moves to achieve a smooth engraving. Vector engraving works the same as laser cutting all that is changed is a reduction in power of the laser to prevent cutting through the material.
Which materials are best for vector engraving?
Vector engraving works best of all on flat materials as it engraves in a continuous way. This can be a faster process compared to raster engraving on certain materials.
Vector engraving gives particularly effective results on wood. Softwoods such as Birch need less power to highlight the line, but hardwoods such as Oak need more power to produce a contrasting effect.
This process can be used on many materials but two popular ways are:
- To mark parts where the need is to produce a serial or part number to a product in the most cost-effective way.
- To highlight engraved areas of a design or layout on wood or card, particularly where there is a lot of detail to a design that needs to have more contrast to the rest of the engraving.