Can You Laser Engrave Plastic?

In addition to wood, metals, textiles, and leather, you can also laser engrave plastic a variety of ways. Almost every type of plastic material can be cut with a laser system such as ABS, acrylic, polyester, nylon, polycarbonate, and more. However, due to the variable nature of a plastic surface, reactions to laser cutting are equally fluid.

Lit Laser is a team of specialists with the knowledge you need to laser cut or engrave any type of material, including plastic. In this article, we want to break down the different techniques for doing so, and how plastic engraving is applied in various industries today.

How Do You Laser Engrave Plastic?

Plastic engraving and marking can occur with a fiber laser or a CO2 laser, which provides more accurate results when laser marking plastic. Because of plastic’s complex nature, the same type of plastic can yield a variety of results from shifting colors to shape as a result of the laser beam reaction. Take care to test a small piece of the material you are using in an effort to obtain the ideal result for your engraving project.

Here are a few of the various methods you can employ to laser engrave your plastic products.


Foaming is one way that plastic engraving can occur. It actively degrades the plastic slightly as to leave behind gas-bubbles and leave marking. The gas leaves a raised surface with a brighter color than the rest of the plastic surface.

Color Changing

Another one of the plastic marking processes is to vaporize the color pigments and carbon within the surface. The carbon will then oxidize and form CO2, creating a discoloration effect where dark plastics turn lighter and lighter plastics turn darker. More often than not, however, the color changes shift toward the dark end of the color spectrum.


Lastly, laser carbonization breaks plastic chemical bonds, releasing multiple gases and leaving a very dark area that’s dense with carbon. This method is ideal for lighter plastics as it leaves an accent effect between the surface and the engraving.

What Common Products Do You Engrave?

Very common forms of plastic that require engraving are electrical components and circuit boards. You may see a model number or serial number frequently printed on internal parts. You can also engrave keyboards, packaging materials, tools, and more. It’s even a frequent engraving technique in the manufacture of car parts.

Laser engraving significantly enhances the appeal of otherwise drab-looking plastic. With a laser marker, you can create clean logos, artwork, and designs on durable, element-resistant plastic for a variety of personal and professional needs.

Lit Laser Knows How to Laser Engrave Plastic

For all your plastic laser engraving or etching needs, Lit Laser has the best solutions in Rancho Cordova, CA. Their team specializes in a variety of laser cutting services and supplies top-quality laser cutting supplies and accessories. To stay up to date on the latest news from Lit Laser, subscribe today at the bottom of this page. For all other questions, give us a call at (888)-407-9626.

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