Plastic Engraving: Laser Color Application on Two-Layer Plastic, Engraving Machines and Nozzles, Hand Engraving

Currently, there are a large number of ways to apply the engraving. At the same time for each individual material can only apply some specific methods. Often, different inscriptions are applied to a variety of plastic products. It is worth knowing about the peculiarities of engraving on plastic.


Plastic is a relatively fragile material, it will not withstand excessive mechanical action, it quickly breaks and deforms, so you can use for it not all methods of applying engraving. Often on plastic structures do colorful inscriptions and images. Most often for their creation use special machines and other automatic units, which allow the most accurate transfer of all the drawings on the products.


There are several basic methods of application, which are used by engravers when working with plastic. Let’s analyze each variety separately.


Currently, this method is used infrequently. In this case, the engraver works with a special cutter manually. The method is considered quite labor-intensive, even the slightest inaccuracy of the master can immediately spoil the entire image.

Hand engraving is often called artistic engraving. The master forms on the surface of the material different lines and points with different depths. Thus, the desired image is formed on the plastic.


This method is used much more frequently. It is used with the help of a special rotating sharpened cutter, which will just accurately cut through the plastic. It is not uncommon to use special mechanical machines, including pantographs and computerized engraving machines. Such units are most often used for decorating jewelry, vases, and tableware. Many of them can function in several modes.

Computerized engraving equipment has software, as well as a special system of electronic control, motors, designed for mechanical fast movement of the cutter along the axes for the application of the image.

All of these machines have finely sharpened sharp parts that leave dots and lines on plastic structures that transform into a pattern. It is not uncommon to take parts with a diamond tip, but they are better used for working with a variety of metal objects. Nowadays, a large number of mechanical equipment with different nozzles is available. Small models are better purchased to work with prizes, awards, small gift souvenirs. Quite often such units are produced together with a whole set of cutters with different sizes.



This option is considered the easiest and fastest. The radiation of the laser device changes the color or structure of the material, and sometimes even removes the surface layer from the plastic product. Due to the fact that the thickness of the vaporized part is minimal, the topography of the part gets a great look. Laser-applied drawings are particularly resistant and of high quality. All other methods of treatment can not give the same results.

Layers of material, as a rule, are made in different colors. The laser technique will gently remove the top layer, revealing the next one. The thickness of the outer layer is usually 0.05-0.07 mm. Laser engraving of plastic can be of 2 types:

  1. Vector. In this case, all images are formed as thin lines as possible.
  2. Raster. This method allows you to create beautiful halftone photographic images on objects.

In the process of working with laser devices is possible to easily adjust the depth of the beam, you can get and volumetric inscriptions or images.

How to choose plastic?

This material is considered quite fragile, so to engrave it, it is worth selecting only certain types of plastic. So, two-layer products, which are characterized by strength, may well be suitable. It is not uncommon to process and acrylic samples.

Two-layer material found its application in the manufacture of badges, tags, awards, medals by laser processing and cutting. It is one of the main materials used in the production of advertising and souvenir products.

For laser and mechanical engraving take different two-layer plastic. These varieties differ from each other by the thickness of the upper layer. The plastic for machining, this layer will be much thicker.

Engraving can be applied both to glossy and matte surfaces. Most often, such material is made with special protection against the influence of ultraviolet radiation, so engraved pictures and inscriptions will not be afraid of climatic influences, goods with them can be used not only indoors, but also outdoors. Engraving can be applied to plastic of different colors. Images are often made on black plastic.

If you plan to handle a transparent or monochrome material, then later in the created image should be carefully rubbed in special paints. This is done so that the drawings or inscriptions are sufficiently contrasting and pronounced.