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Deep Laser Engraving: How to Increase Laser Engraving Depth?

by Winnie Li Posted on December 13, 2023

Ever noticed coin markings or raised logos on metallic plates? These are prime examples of deep surface engraving. This technique engraves the surface to a noticeable depth, leaving a prominent marking on the material.

Confused, how it differs from standard laser engraving? This article will clarify. We’ll explore deep engraving, its unique features, and applications. Plus, we will highlight a compact desktop laser machine, ideal for deep engraving.

In This Article

  • How Is Deep Laser Engraving Achieved?
  • How Deep Can Laser Engraving Go?
  • Can You Deep Laser Engrave Metal?
  • What Is Deep Laser Engraving Used For?
  • How Do You Make Laser Engraving Deeper?
  • What Deep Laser Engraving Machine Do You Need?
  • Conclusion

How Is Deep Laser Engraving Achieved?

In deep laser engraving, a powerful laser beam is used to vaporize material, removing layers from its surface. This process creates a standout design surrounded by cavities; the result is similar to the raised designs on stamps or coins. The design appears elevated because the surrounding surface is etched away.

deep laser engraving on rolling pin

In standard engraving, the laser beam removes the material which leaves a permanent mark. In that case, the engraving is below the surface. Whereas in deep engraving, the design becomes prominent due to deep removal(engraving) of the surrounding surface. The process requires more power, depth, and time compared to the standard one.

An extension of deep engraving is 3D laser engraving. Here, the depth of material removal varies, giving the design a three-dimensional appearance. 3D engraving is similar to deep engraving in technique but adds an extra dimension to the design, which enhances the visual impact.

How Deep Can Laser Engraving Go?

Deep laser engraving, as the name suggests, goes deeper than standard engraving. In normal cases, the depth reaches about 500 microns or 0.5mm. However, there is no fixed standard for this depth.

Likewise, the extent of deep engraving also varies. It depends on the capabilities of the machine and the specific requirements of the design. Generally, the depth is limited to a few millimeters. It is enough to add aesthetic appeal and make the design appear raised.

Can You Deep Laser Engrave Metal?

Yes, metals are suitable for deep laser engraving, and we often see them with deep markings in various applications. However, achieving this requires precise adjustment of the engraving parameters.

Precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum are particularly well-suited for deep engraving. We see their applications in the jewelry industry. Stainless steel can also be deeply engraved, but there’s a caveat. Deep engraving can damage its oxide layer, increasing the risk of corrosion. The same issue arises with iron. To prevent this, additional steps such as chrome plating or painting are necessary after engraving.

Commonly pulsed fiber lasers, known for their power, are used in industries for deep engraving of metallic parts. While other types of lasers can be used, they are slower in operation.

What Is Deep Laser Engraving Used For?

Deep laser engraving is used in a wide range of applications, where permanent markings are required. We see its usage in:

Industrial Marking: It is commonly used to incise logos, letterings, and serial numbers on machine parts. The method ensures that these important identifiers are long-lasting and resistant to wear.

Stamp Plate Engraving: Deep engraving is ideal for creating stamp plates. The depth achieved in the engraving process leaves clear, precise impressions on stamps.

laser engraved stamps

Jewelry Engraving: In the jewelry industry, deep engraving adds intricate designs or personalizations to pieces made from precious metals. It is the best way to add name initials on jewelry items and make them special.

rings with deep laser engraving

Coin Engraving: Coins often feature detailed designs and text; deep laser engraving is used to achieve this level of detail. It allows for precise and intricate patterns, which are essential for the aesthetic and authenticity of coins.

How Do You Make Laser Engraving Deeper?

To achieve deeper laser engraving, we need to fine-tune multiple machine parameters like speed, optical power, and number of passes.

Optical Power

Power is the most influencing factor. Higher optical power enables deeper engraving in a shorter time. For deep laser engraving metal, at least 100W fiber laser is needed, depending on the hardness of the metal to be engraved. Other materials might require less power. If the laser is underpowered, it can still achieve the desired depth, but the process will be slower.


The speed of the laser head’s movement across the material is also crucial. Setting a lower speed allows the laser to spend more time on each area, leading to deeper cuts. However, care must be taken to avoid setting the speed too low, especially with materials like wood, to prevent burning or excessive material removal.

No. of Passes

When working with a less powerful laser machine but aiming for greater depth, you can increase the number of passes of the laser head to achieve more depth. However, this approach is more time-consuming as it involves multiple repetitions over the same area.

Proper Ventilation

Deep engraving involves longer processing times and the removal of more material, which leads to prolonged production of fumes. Additionally, the laser and material may heat up during the process. 

To maintain a cool and safe working environment, you need to have an effective exhaust system equipped with a smoke extractor. This ensures the removal of fumes and helps in managing the temperature during the engraving process.

What Deep Laser Engraving Machine Do You Need?

For industrial deep engraving, fiber laser machines are recommended. However, for small businesses or personalizing your home items with deep engraving, you may choose a powerful diode laser machine, xTool S1

xTool S1: The Best Deep Engraving Solution for Small Businesses

xTool S1 is the world’s most powerful enclosed diode laser engraver, which comes with a powerful 40W diode laser module. Its eight 5.5W lasers combine to make it a powerful laser cutter and engraver, with capabilities comparable to a CO2 laser engraver. Apart from a 40W and 20W diode modules, it does offer a 2W IR (1064nm) module, dedicated to metal engraving.

xtool s1 laser engraver

S1 is a class 1 laser product, bearing multiple safety features. For instance, it has a 5-direction fire detection system, a laser filter lid, an emergency stop button, and a lid-open safety stop.

The machine’s solid design contributes to its stability and precision. It has a sturdy rail structure that keeps the laser head stable, even at speeds of 600 mm/s. It has a spacious interior with a bed size of 23.93*15.16 inches. That bed can be further expanded using a pass-through slot.

xTool S1 also offers some distinctive features compared to its predecessors, which make it ideal for deep engraving. It comes with an advanced pin-point positioning system. You place the material, and mark points on it. The machine’s intelligent algorithm creates it absolute coordinate layout and maps those points on the software. With just three points, you can map circular objects; no need to look for the circle’s center. For tiny objects, even two points work. And for complex ones, there’s polygon positioning; you can mark as many points as you want.

circular object engraving

The machine’s auto-focus system is another standout feature. Unlike manual focus, it focuses below the material surface to enhance both cutting and engraving operations. Additionally, the S1 also supports rotary and uneven surface engraving. It maps uneven surfaces and creates their 3D models. Then, its dynamic auto-focus adjusts the laser head for consistent engraving quality.

The xTool S1 is also equipped with a high-quality exhaust system. With an exhaust fan and a smoke purifier (add-on), it efficiently filters and removes smoke, ensuring a clean and safe operation during deep engraving tasks.


Deep engraving is a key technique for adding distinct permanent markings to mechanical parts or making personalized items. It delivers excellent results but requires more power and patience compared to the standard engraving process. Remember, success in deep engraving comes from managing power, speed, and ventilation effectively.

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