Engraving with a laser is actually a simple process. A laser is merely a tool. Laser can engrave most materials today. The most popular materials in the engraving fields are coated metals, wood, acrylic, glass, leather, marble, plastic, and a host of synthetic materials made specifically for lasers. Although it's confusing sometimes laser marking is referred to as laser etching. Unlike conventional etching, laser etching simply needs no masks or chemicals.
It was back in the early 1960's when scientists first discovered laser cutting machine, that they could create a light source, focus the energy and have a tool powerful enough to affect certain materials.
Laser marking is the favored marking method when permanency or aesthetics are needed. It didn't take very long for the engraving industry to notice lasers and soon lasers were being used for a wide variety of industrial applications including welding, heat-treating, etching and engraving.
If you think of a laser as a light source similar to a light bulb you'll know that a light bulb will emit energy out all around it. And the term laser etching is basically just another name for laser engraving.
The ability to laser cut complex profiles can eliminate the need for additional operations, making laser cutting very economical. And laser cutting offers a superior cut-edge quality with parallel sides and with no burrs. Laser cutting adds high precision, reduced contamination or warping, and a good quality finish to industrial cutting applications.