Datamartrix marked with fiber laser engraver

How to engrave metal?

Discover our rotary and laser engraver for metal!

Years ago, man discovered the ability to shape metal, we have been marking it, be it for artistry, personalization or traceability.

Metal is complex: conductive, reactive, and composed of chemicals, and alloys so, when you are looking for a rotary or laser marking machine for metal, the best solution will depend on the type of metal you will be engraving:

  • Stainless steel Aluminum
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Hardened metals
  • Steel alloy
  • Titanium and titanium alloys
  • Carbides
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Precious metals
  • Coated metals

Why mark metal?
Metal engraving is used for the marking of text, logos, pictures, numbers, 2D codes, the list is endless. The industries marking metal, is even bigger with jewelry, medical, automotive, aeronautics, and energy, to name a few.

Our laser marking and engraving is done without contact, and does not require any pre-treatment or post-treatment. The result is a permanent, resistant, and high contrast marking with a very high definition finish, and of course without damaging the metal.

Rotary engraving cuts away the metal using an engraving cutter, similar to a drill. This allows for both engraving and cutting (on some metals) and is used extensively across all industries from engraving jewelry to cutting control panels.

The direct part marking by dot peen or scribing is performed thanks to a tungsten carbide stylus which comes into contact with the surface and deforms the material in hollow thanks to a succession of impacts which form the final marking.

Gravotech has extensive experience in metal marking and brings its expertise to help you find the best metal engraving solution that will fit your needs. There are many different types of metals and we have a machine solution for each of them.

Metal laser engraving

Direct part marking on metal

Laser etching can be used on a broad range of materials. Laser engraving occurs when the heat of the beam melts only the surface of the material and does not fully penetrate the material.

The high power of the laser uses high heat to melt only the surface of the material. Oxides sometimes form in engraved areas, making the marks clearer and more visible. The laser modifies its reflectivity and improves the contrast. It removes very little material.

It can be carried out on raw, anodized or plated metal surfaces. Light engraving of metals and oxides. Removes less than .001” of material. High-speed marking. Works on all metals.

See our metal laser engraving machines !

Text mark with metal laser engraver

When marked components require reworking or additional painting and the material is rough, laser engraving needs to be applied deeper into the material.

The laser creates high heat during the engraving process, which causes the material to vaporize. This creates a cavity in the surface that is noticeable to the eye and touch. It is recommended when the laser marking suffers post-process stress (such as sandblasting for die-castings).

Fast fusion and vaporization of the material. Varying the depth is achieved by the number of passes. Only work with filled font/shapes.

Datamatrix marking on metal

  • Annealing

Annealing heats the material locally to just below its melting point. This generates oxide layers on the surface of the workpiece which are associated with metallic annealing colors. It is also the preferred method whenever a precision fit is required or there is a need to avoid material bulging.

You can only anneal metals that change color when under the influence of heat and oxygen, i.e. steels and titanium, but not aluminum or nonferrous metals. Generally, the oxide layer is black, but it can also have other annealing colors. The color depends on the temperature of the heated layers. The material surface remains even during annealing because nothing is removed from it. The color change is achieved through localized material heating only. The heat usually penetrates .02 to .03 mm deep in the metal surface.


  • Black marking

Black marking is a marking process that produces very high-contrast, dark markings. This structured surface reduces the amount of light that is reflected, and the result is a deep, matt blackening of the marking, which appears the same when viewed from any angle. This makes the marking non-abrasive. Black markings are ideal for rust-free stainless steels, titanium, copper and brass.

Metal engraving with a rotary machine

Metal keyring personalized

With metal engraving machines, we drag a diamond tool on the surface of the material to obtain a light and very aesthetic marking. There is no chip created and the material weight loss is insignificant, which is important particularly in jewelry.

This marking process can be used even for very hard alloys such as steel, stainless steel or iron and of course also with softer metals. It is ideal for signage (tags) and personalization. The groove created in the part can also be filled with lacquer or wax, to obtain a high contrast or color.

 See our cnc metal engraving machines!

Deep engraving with cnc metal engraving machine

CNC metal engraving machines, the material is removed using cutting tools, «engraving cutters» of various sizes and shapes.

CNC is used for cutting out shapes in metal such as for control panels or for milling out 3D shapes such as the creation of hot stamps, mold insert or soft metal manufacturing in general. This technology can also be used to obtain text, numbers or logos deeply engraved in the part, whether it is for identification (direct part marking) of personalization purposes.

This marking process provides excellent non-contrasted results both for cutting or milling, and even our small engravers can do the job in soft metal such as aluminum or brass.

Identification marking of Datamatrix code

Our pneumatic dot peen marking machines are the best for marking applications requiring a very short cycle time to meet the speed requirements of industrial sectors.

The electromagnetic marking machines are more suitable for applications needing great precision and consistency. It is particularly efficient for DataMatrix code marking. The electromagnetic dot peen marking machine is a high-precision marking solution to meet traceability and identification requirements.

Our dot peen metal marking machines are economical with clear marking, marking twice as fast as other dot peen machines.

Vehicule Identification Number deep marking

Silent with aesthetic and amazing results, scribing machines are used in all industrial operations, subject to noise level limitations: for marking large metal components (beams, rails, chassis and exhaust pipes etc.) for marking V.I.N. numbers (Vehicle Identification Numbers) on cars, motorbikes and heavyweight vehicles, etc.

This is the solution with the best marking/speed depth ratio. It provides high quality marking. It was developed for heavy industrial applications, our systems are durable and require very little maintenance.

Discover Gravotech's metal engravers

Our complete range of integrated lasers and laser stations will enable you to carry out marking on all type of metal parts, for a permanent result, with excellent quality and contrast for full identification and traceability.

The most complete laser station for permanent marking. From unit to small batch production to integration in a robotic cell. Compatible with Fiber, Hybrid, or Green source.

Front view of LW2 industrial laser engraver



Fully automated laser marking station


Introducing the excitement of laser engraving to your business....

WeLase compact laser engraver



Small laser engraver for in-store custom laser engraving.


Our powerful and high-quality industrial Fiber Laser engraver performs precise markings quickly....

Fiber serie Laser marking system



Integrated laser marking system for metal and plastic parts


The LS900 industrial laser engraver, comes in CO2, Fiber, or Edge (dual sources). They're ideal if looking for a fast laser engraver or laser cutter.

LS900 co2 fiber laser



The large laser engraver that can do everything


The 1064 nm HYBRID laser marker is perfect for applications requiring a great versatility in terms of marking materials at the highest speed, from metal to plastic laser marking.

Hybrid laser - integrated laser

HYBRID laser


The best compromise between versatility, high quality, and high speed to meet all your marking needs 


The LS100EX CO2 laser machine is a medium-sized machine for engraving and cutting. Its engraving area matches the size of ¼ sheet, making it the ideal sign making machine....

LS100Ex co2 laser marking machine

LS100 EX


The signage and small series laser engraving machine


    Our range of rotary machines are able to process light diamond engraving, neat deep engraving, light milling and drilling. Gravotech’s Dot peen and Scribing solutions offer very fast non-contrasted deep marking obtained by making close impacts on the surface of several metal types.

    Since inventing dot peen marking technology 40 years ago, we have continued to innovate, and the XF510p pneumatic dot peen marking machine takes the crown for being the smallest and fastest on the ...

    XF510P dot peen marking machine



    The fastest pneumatic dot peen marking machine on the market


    The master of marking Data Matrix codes, this electromagnetic dot peen marking machine builds upon our foundations with dot peen to meet the highest standards of precision....

    XF510m dot peen marking machine



    The precise and consistent electromagnetic dot peen marking machine


    This marking system delivers direct part marking on your parts while reducing noise....

    Front view of the XF510r machine



     The Quiet metal marking machine


    This industrial engraver is perfect for signage, identification of parts, plastic engraving, and a perfect ADA braille engraving machine....

    IS400 rotary metal engraving machine

    IS400 – IS400 Volume


    One of a kind metal engraving machine 


    As the best-selling rotary engraving machine, the M20 is a custom engraving machine that can adapt to any purpose and fit any job....

    M20 Custom engraving machine



    Custom engraving for all kind of purposes, from jewelry and perfume to small industrial signage.


    The Impact dot peen engraver is a standalone metal engraving machine easy to configure and master. Take your business to the next level, whatever its size and expertise.

    Impact marking station: dot-peen marking machine



    Benchtop dot peen marking machine


    Fast, powerful, and precise: discover a CNC engraving machine, unique in the market....

    ISx000 large format CNC engraving machine.



    The large format CNC engraving machine


    This small engraving machine has been a classic for more than 15 years for label engraving and used as a metal plate cutter....

    IS200 rotary engraving machine



    Small engraving machine that is rotary and portable


    The M10 rotary engraving machine is a simple and secured small engraving machine for a pre-defined medal, keyring and small identification plate engraving....

    M10 Small rotary engraving machine



    Compact engraving machine for pre-defined flat items