A laser has long been the preferred tool for making precise, permanent aesthetic marks on objects. From the patterns on your cookware to the patterns on your stained glass, the laser leaves its mark everywhere. The reason people choose Laser marking systems over methods like doing it by hand or other forms of radiation is:
- Speed. The laser works fast. By programming a design on a laser machine, that design can be reproduced in seconds. The same, for a human hand, would require a hundred times that duration.
- Repeatability. Watermarks, logos, barcodes, etc. they are security information, and producing perfect replicas is of the utmost importance here. Laser replication is as error-free as possible, with error levels too low for even the most sophisticated machines to detect. Furthermore, repeatability is often desirable even when it is not of such importance, for example when printing designs on bulk clothing or accessories.
- Accuracy. A laser beam is no more than a few microns thick. A micron is one thousandth of a millimeter; yes, I have my calculations correct. Therefore, there is no better instrument than the laser to make fine marks in areas where precision is absolutely necessary. That is why lasers are used in things like glassware, medical implements, barcodes, backlit keyboards, etc.
However, until recently, laser instruments have been limited to two-dimensional surfaces. Even this was not considered as big of a limitation, as the laser’s greatest advantage was its speed, precision, repeatability, and permanence. Now, the same precise performance has been diversified to include 3D elements, of the most complex shapes and varied sizes. This is where the 6-axis laser comes into play. 6-axis laser technology combines several features:
o 3D scan, for one
o Use of robots to move around the work piece. This allows for a more consistent path and distance from the laser, where both the head and the material being worked on move to generate optimal results.
o Marking lasers with vision system
o Software tools that allow you to wrap images, even around complex and elaborate 3D shapes, such as lanterns, vases, gems, etc.
Consequently, 6-axis lasers have become very popular in industries that require high-precision cutting, engraving or marking on 3D surfaces. As most people already know, marks these days are made by erasing as often as with paint. Backlit keyboards, for example, work with full-surface paint, but some layers of paint are removed to create the symbol on the key. The same goes for car dashboards, etc.
6-axis lasers are also used in the aircraft industry to remove paint from magnesium castings. Another important use of this sophisticated and cutting edge marking technology is to remove metal plating from surfaces to generate beautiful and complex patterns. For cost-effective, efficient and aesthetically pleasing marking technology, there is no better option than a laser marking system.