9 Essential Laser Engraving Supplies

Laser engraving is a fun and rewarding method that allows you to exercise your creative muscles and craft custom designs on a variety of materials. Laser cutters are incredibly precise, allowing you to create ultra-intricate designs that would take far longer if you did them by hand. 

Of course, like most hobbies, you’ll need a few things to get started with your engraving projects. Here are a few things to add to your collection before you begin crafting custom projects:

1. Laser Engraving Machine

    A laser engraving machine is the most important piece of equipment for any laser engraving project. After all, it’s hard to engrave with lasers if you don’t have the machine to do it with. There are plenty of options available, including many sizes and power levels. 

    If you’re a hobbyist or small business, a tabletop laser cutter might be the best option. If you need a large-scale option, an industrial laser engraver might be your best bet. Choose the option that best suits your needs and creation goals. 

    2. Safety Gear

      While generally considered safe to use, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when using your laser engraver. You won’t be directly exposed to the laser, but it’s important to act like you will be. 

      Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from the laser beam and any stray reflections. Make sure the area is well-ventilated, especially if you’re working with acrylic, wood, or leather. Have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergencies. 

      3. Materials

        You’ll need something to engrave your custom designs onto. Laser cutters are compatible with a wide range of materials, including wood, acrylic, metal, glass, leather, and cardboard. The best material for your project will depend on what you’re trying to create. 

        For example, if you want to create a plaque, you might use a pre-made blank glass plaque. Or, if you’re creating wood coasters, you might start with blank wood cookies. Choose the laser engraving material that suits your design goals. 

        4. Design Software

          Design software is integral to creating custom designs. There are all sorts of software options available, some easier to navigate than others. Choose the option that works best for your needs or the one that you’re most familiar with. 

          5. Laser Engraving Software

            Once your design is ready to go, you’ll need to bring that design to your laser engraving software. This software translates your designs into a language the laser engraver can understand. There are multiple options out there, but not all might be compatible with your laser engraver. Verify that the software is compatible before selecting one to transfer your design into. 

            6. Calibration and Maintenance Tools

              Your laser cutter needs to be properly calibrated and well-maintained to ensure it can do its job correctly. Before you begin using your machine, remember to calibrate it. This might require various tools, such as focus gauges and alignment tools. 

              Additionally, you may need a lens cleaning kit to keep the laser lens free of debris and lubricants to maintain moving parts of your machine. Take a look at the maintenance and calibration instructions provided with your laser cutter to ensure you take the proper precautions and steps. 

              7. Masking Materials 

                If you’re not engraving or cutting all of your materials, it’s important to mask it off. This can help reduce burn marks and residue, ensuring the untouched areas look, well, untouched. The best masking material for your project will depend on the medium you’re using. You might use painter’s tape for more durable materials, but if you’re working with delicate materials, transfer tape might be the better option. 

                8. Measuring and Marking Tools

                  Precision is an integral part of laser engraving. Of course, the laser can only do its job if you measure and mark properly. Use calipers, marking pens, and rulers to ensure your materials are accurately placed and aligned as necessary. This will ensure the machine can do its job, creating precise cuts as needed to create the desired effect. 

                  9. Cleaning Supplies

                    Last but not least, you’ll need cleaning supplies. After all, you’ll need to reset your workspace after each engraving project to ensure you have a clean place to start the next time you want to create. Always clean the machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions—they might recommend specific cleaning supplies or products to use.

                    Each time you clean, start by removing dust and debris from engraved surfaces. Wipe the area with a microfiber cloth, using cleaning solutions as necessary to restore your workspace to its former (clean) glory. 

                    Start Laser Engraving Today With AGC Education’s Supplies

                    Once you’ve gathered all of your essential laser engraving supplies, you can get started creating all sorts of custom designs. Engraved leather journals, personalized keychains, custom jewelry—the possibilities are endless. 

                    If you’re ready to start exercising your creative muscles with engraving projects, we have what you need. At AGC Education, we have everything from the laser cutter itself to the supplies you’ll need to start engraving. Contact us today at 1 (800) 535-7553 to learn more today!