<img alt="" src="https://secure.pair1tune.com/221242.png" style="display:none;">

In the world of plastic parts manufacturing, laser technology has emerged as a versatile and reliable tool for marking plastic surfaces and components for functional and decorative reasons. Using laser markings affords manufacturers numerous benefits, ranging from high precision and durability to flexibility in design.

But whether you’re looking to add product identification information, branding, or aesthetic elements, there are several factors to consider. In this article, we’ll delve into the importance of laser markings in plastic parts production and provide guidelines for designing plastic components that accommodate laser markings.

Importance of Laser Markings in Plastic Manufacturing

Laser marking is a non-contact process that uses a high-intensity laser beam to etch permanent markings on the surface layers of a plastic product. Laser markings are more precise and permanent and can be done at higher speeds.

Laser marking is also one of the best ways to create permanent and legible markings on plastic parts. Sometimes, information, such as serial numbers and manufacturing dates, can be critical for product traceability and identification.

Laser marking is also considered an environmentally friendly alternative because it produces no excess or hazardous waste. This is one reason why many companies prioritizing their ecological impact are turning toward laser systems.

Laser Marking Design Guidelines for Plastic Components

When it comes to creating laser marking on plastic parts, there are several design guidelines that you should follow to ensure a legible and long-lasting marking, such as:

1. Select Suitable Plastic Materials and Colors

Not all types of plastics will have the same engraving outcome. Your choice of material early on in the design stage can determine the quality and outcome of the laser mark, if at all. Typically, plastic parts with smooth and uniform surfaces are easier to mark and tend to be legible with less effort. Irregular surfaces make it harder for the light to catch on the laser engraving and, therefore, harder to read.

Another factor you’ll need to consider is the plastic material properties. Since the marking is achieved through the reaction between the laser beam and the polymers on the plastic part’s surface, it’s important to know that a black part with a matte finish versus a gloss finish will achieve a different color outcome when laser marked.

2. Optimize Marking Location, Size, and Depth

The marking's location, size, and depth are all critical factors needed to optimize the quality and permanence of the marking. For starters, the location should be determined early in the design phase. It should be easily accessible to the average person while avoiding interference with the plastic parts' functional or aesthetic elements.

The marking size should also correspond to the size of the plastic component without becoming too small. It should be visible to the naked eye without interfering with the structural integrity or design of the part. As for the depth, it relates directly to the longevity of the carving. It should be deep enough into the surface layers of the plastic to survive months to years of wear and tear.

3. Quality Control

Quality control is an essential stage of laser marking on plastic parts. It confirms the final engraving’s durability, precision, and legibility while enabling you to withdraw any product that doesn’t meet your quality standards.

The process can be implemented through several layers of checkups, testing, and regular calibration of the laser system. Quality control minimizes discrepancies or variability between plastic parts from the same production line.

Ultimately, a rigorous quality control process elevates the overall grade of your product.

Partner With an Injection Molding Expert to Perform Laser Marking

Laser marking on plastic parts is a complex and delicate process requiring expertise and knowledge. A lot can go wrong if it's not handled correctly. Working with an injection molding partner that performs laser marking is your best solution to ensure your plastic parts are marked correctly and with high quality.

At Crescent Industries, we’re an employee-owned and USA-based plastic injection molding company offering laser marker as a post-processing operation. We provide an integrated, single-source solution for all your needs in manufacturing and engraving custom plastic components. Our advanced engineering capabilities stand at the core of our work, allowing us to offer a broader range of comprehensive solutions for the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, defense, and OEM/industrial sectors.

Learn more about our plastic injection molding techniques and our various marking options that range from pad printing, inkjet printing, and laser markings for long-lasting and durable text and branding. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


guide to plastic injection molding


Topics: custom injection molding, contract manufacturing, injection molding post processing