A Basic Guide on How to Engrave on Plastic

Laser engraving is a printing method that relies on a laser to create permanent marks on metal surfaces. A laser-engraved design and logo add an excellent texture to the product. Though laser engraving is commonly used on metals, can it engrave on plastic? Many leading manufacturing companies use either laser etching or laser engraving for their products for high-quality designs. Using a laser, a manufacturer and designer can create a distinctive design on the plastic surface of plastic products efficiently and with precision.


Engraving on plastic is an excellent way to personalize various items. With many engraving machines available, from handheld to automated engraving machines, it can be challenging to decide which works best for your business. For the best experience in engraving plastic, you have to select the best type of plastic, the appropriate material to create a template, and the engraving tool for accurate results.


engrave on plastic


What do laser engravers do to plastic?

A laser engraver can do the following on plastic;

  • Add the depth and texture of your design
  • Mark serial number, logos, and any other code
  • Creates high-quality permanent branding on products and marketing gifts
  • Great design opportunities for any plastic product type


As aforementioned, to engrave on plastic, you must practice to perfect your skills and bite any difficult odds. But, you cannot engrave on all plastics. To engrave on plastic, you must find out the plastics suitable for engraving. During the laser engraving process, the manufacturer or designer controls the laser beam to etch designs to a certain depth without causing material breakage. Lasers allow manufacturers to etch on almost any type of plastic.


Type of plastic to laser engrave

  • Polyethene (PE)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyester
  • Vinyl
  • Acrylic
  • Silicone
  • Polyamide (PA),
  • Polypropylene (PP)


However, these materials have a different reaction to a laser beam. For instance, some plastic emits harmful gases through vaporization, which may cause damage to the laser equipment. If a chemical reaction occurs, it may harm both the user and the environment. Therefore, it’s best to test raw materials before actual production.


In recent years, manufacturers have designed their laser engraving tools with various tips, so as a user, you must understand the various tooltips and their purpose. For instance, a wide tip makes the device suitable for engraving on more comprehensive designs. Conversely, a smaller design may need a thin tip. The idea is always to use the correct tip to design an attractive design without effort.


Is laser engraving on plastic right for your brand?

To engrave on plastic is the best branding choice to make if you need high-quality and durable designs. However, since the emissions that occur during laser engraving are harmful to workers and the environment, ensure your machine manufacturer has adhered to safety and environmental guidelines as required by law.

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