How to Make Money with a Laser Engraver?
How to find a side hustle to earn extra money is a question that has been bothering people, especially since the break out of COVID-19.
Among all those options, laser engraving and cutting is probably not the most popular one.
But after reading this article, you will be amazed at what a great side business to start laser engraving is, and how easily it can help people get a second income source and make money from home.
We will break the laser engraver and cutter business in detail, and let you know everything you need to start your laser business and make money with a laser machine.
In This Article
- Can I Make Money with a Laser Engraver?
- What Can I Make to Sell with a Laser Engraver?
- How Much Do I Need to Start a Laser Engraving Business?
- Is a Laser Engraving Business Profitable?
- Best Laser Engravers to Start a Business
Can I Make Money with a Laser Engraver?
Undoubtedly, you can make money with a laser engraver. Nowadays, laser engraving is in great demand and being used for multiple purposes. It is an excellent business idea that beginners can start with low investment.
There is a massive market for laser engraving. From making art pieces to marking objects, laser engraving is preferred. People love to have creative, unique, and customized objects; therefore, these machines are a great source of earnings.
1. Start a website to sell engraved crafts online
There is an option to sell your laser creations online. In addition, there are other eCommerce websites as well where you can create an account and sell your products.
Don't forget to try Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. These websites can help you kick-start your business and earn revenue even at the start of the business.
2. Offer custom laser engraving services locally
If you wish to have a physical store, it is a great idea to sell laser engraved products. People can easily order from you and get their personalized items according to their requirements.
3. Create laser-related content and become an affiliate
Another unique idea of earning with laser engraving is creating videos and then uploading them on YouTube and Facebook. Your content can be monetized, and it will be a great source of earnings.
Laser engraving is fascinating, and people would love to see such videos. You can brainstorm new ideas and make products. If you are a creative person, the viewers will definitely praise your creativity.
After using laser machines, you can guide others. You have experience in making objects and using laser machines, so you are the right person to give reviews and guide people.
For more earnings, you should try affiliate marketing. You will earn through successful sales after the promotion of laser engraving machines. Affiliate marketing can be done on a website or YouTube channel.
What Can I Make to Sell with a Laser Engraver?
Laser engraving can be done on a wide range of materials; consequently, the users can make many items and products, and it depends on their creativity. Let’s see some laser engraving/cutting projects a person can engrave and sell.
1. Customized objects and gifts
The first market for laser engraving is for customized objects and gifts.
With the help of a laser engraver, a user can engrave a name, logo, title, tag line, picture, or anything else on the materials.
For instance, you can make laser engraved rings and sell them online. There is a wide variety of customized products, such as pens, tumblers, keychains, lockets, wallets, mobile covers, watches, and uncountable items.
Customized items can be used for gifting. It is an excellent idea to present customized objects on birthdays and special events.
Moreover, companies also present their employees and visitors with customized gifts for the sake of promotion. You might get orders from companies and corporate giants to make customized items for them. They use customized cups, pens, bags, and other items in their offices.
Another use of laser engraving is marking. Precious objects and items are marked for identification. Moreover, companies also make barcodes and QR codes on metallic items by using a laser engraver.
3. A versatile tool for artists
A laser engraving machine is a worthy tool for artists. They can make different art pieces as they like. Images can be engraved on a piece of wood that can be used as a wall hanging. There are limitless ideas to create engaging and appealing wall hangings. Other than that, they can make wooden boxes, engraved paintings, and a wide range of objects.
4. Trophies & Badgets
With the help of laser engraving, users can engrave trophies, shields, medals, and similar things. These items are frequently ordered from companies, schools, and institutions.
Laser engravers can engrave ceramics as well. They can make wall hangings and customized ceramic pieces, such as opening ceremony plaques and gravestones (tombstones). Metals can also be engraved to make opening ceremony plaques and door titles.
How Much Do I Need to Start a Laser Engraving Business?
Beginners need a straightforward answer to how much they need to start a laser engraving business. For establishing and running such a business, you need to keep various expenses and costs in mind. Buying a laser machine is not enough; there are other expenses involved as well.
1. Laser Engraving Machine Cost
The first thing that you need to buy is a laser engraving machine. The cost of the machine depends on the type of laser engraver. Typically, three types of laser engraving machines are commonly used for business.
- CO2 Laser Engraving Machines
- Diode Laser Engraving Machines
- Fiber Laser Engraving Machines
Diode laser engraving machines are the most pocket-friendly machines on the market. These can engrave as well as cut various materials. For small businesses and beginners, diode laser machines are the best. The initial investment for buying the machine is in the range of $700-1200. An excellent quality laser machine can be bought in the said range.
CO2 laser engraving machines are a bit costlier than diode laser machines. But small businesses can still have these machines and earn money. The typical cost of a CO2 laser machine is in the range of $3000-4000. However, the lifespan of a CO2 laser is much less (about 6000-8000 hours).
Fiber laser machines are quite costly. It can cost you around $6,000-15,000 or even more. But these machines are capable of cutting and engraving metals, and they last for a long time.
You can decide on a suitable laser engraving machine according to your budget.
After buying laser machines, there are extra expenses involved. You need to buy certain attachments according to the requirements of the business. For instance, if you want to engrave cylindrical objects, such as tumblers and wine glasses, you need a rotary attachment for that. It will cost you $100-200.
You also need to buy a panel to protect the surface of the table. Honeycomb panels are mostly used for engraving. It will cost you $100-150.
Another thing you need is the air assist. Some laser engraving machines do not have an air assist, so you need to buy it separately. An air assist is necessary because it blows away the hot smoke and improves the efficiency of the laser machine. It will cost you about $100-150.
3. Raw Materials
You need raw materials for engraving. You can buy objects, such as pens, tumblers, lockets, and rings. You might also need solid wood pieces, plywood, acrylic, and other materials. So, it is better to keep this cost in mind.
4. Electricity Cost
Laser machines consume electricity. Depending on the wattage of the machine, you will have the electricity bill. Diode laser engravers have the lowest wattage compared to other types. While buying a laser machine, make sure to check the wattage of the machine to get a better idea of the electricity expense.
Is a Laser Engraving Business Profitable?
Yes. let's do the math together to see how much money you can make with a laser engraver and whether a laser engraver is worth it.
In the example below, an xTool user got an order of 170 laser-engraved tumblers, earning him $2,635 to easily reimburse the machine cost.
Laser engraving tumblers: 170 units
- Laser engraving software: Free (xTool Creative Space）
- Purchase price of a tumbler: $10
- Engraving cost: $1.5
- Engraving duration for 1 unit: 20min
- Labor cost($40 /hour): $13
- Marketing cost(social media sites): Free
- Retail price of an engraved tumbler: $40
- Profit per unit: $15.5
- Total profit: $2,635
With a more powerful machine, like xTool D1 Pro(20W), the engraving speed is even faster(400mm/s), shortening the engraving duration, thus slashing your labor cost!
Additionally, you can pay over time with Affirm starting at $109 per month if you cannot afford the full price now.
Check here for more xTool user stories of making money using a laser engraver.
Best Laser Engravers to Start a Business
1. Diode Laser Machine—xTool D1 Pro
xTool D1 Pro a is a high-accuracy and affordable diode laser machine for beginners and small businesses.
xTool is laser engraving brand designing, manufacturing and selling laser engravers and cutters to users around the world. xTool D1 Pro is a very compact machine that you can keep at your home over a small table. It empowers the user to engrave and cut materials with high accuracy and speed.
The most important thing about xTool D1 Pro is its fine laser. The laser spot(10W) has minimal dimensions of 0.08 x 0.06mm. It ensures ultimate precision and fine details while engraving. It makes fine and clear lines on the object and reduces burn marks.
There are three diode laser modules of 5W, 10W, and 20W available. The 20W module is the world’s most powerful laser module on the market. It cuts and engraves materials at a very fast speed. It can even cut an 8-10mm plywood with just one pass and at the speed of 3mm per second. The user has the choice to select any module he likes. D1 can engrave solid wood, plywood, leather, glass, steel, ceramics, paper, and acrylic.
In addition, there are other accessories available, such as the honeycomb panel, air assist, and rotary attachment. Users can also buy risers to increase the height of the laser machine and engrave bigger objects.
D1 Pro is beginner-friendly, and anyone can use it without any hassle. The software is pretty simple, and it is also compatible with LightBurn, which is the preferred software by professionals.
The best things about xTool D1 Pro are its reasonable cost and optimal quality. Currently, it is available for $599.99 (5W module) and $699.99 (10W module). Surprisingly, it is available with affirm, and buyers can pay as low as $64 per month. It is ideal for beginners to start a new business with minimal investment.
2. CO2 Laser Machine—xTool Laserbox Rotary
Laserbox Rotary is a powerful and innovative CO2 laser machine from xTool. It is also ideal for small businesses, home projects, DIY works, art & craft, etc. The size of the machine is like a desktop printer, so it can easily be used at home.
The features of xTool Laserbox Rotary set it apart from other machines on the market. It is an extraordinary machine with a lot of advanced features. It has a live preview camera that shows engraving live on the computer screen. You can align and position the design easily using the camera.
It is equipped with AI focusing that focuses the laser automatically. It detects the thickness of the material and type of material to focus on the object accurately. Surprisingly, the machine can extract the image from any object. The extracted image can be modified and used for engraving.
xTool Laserbox Rotary can laser engrave wood, acrylic, glass, leather, cardboard, paper, metal, stone, rubber, food, and fabric. Therefore, the users have a wide range of materials to use for creating products. Moreover, it is also compatible with rotary attachment, so it can also engrave cylindrical objects.
The machine is available for $3,699. The amount can be paid with affirm as low as $129 per month.
3) Fiber Laser Engraving Machine—JPT 50W
JPT 50W is a fiber laser marking machine that can engrave on metals and a few non-metals. It is quite powerful and can engrave a wide range of materials, including stainless steel, tungsten, titanium, carbine nickel, gold, silver, carbon steel, platinum, nylon, ABS, PVC, etc.
Fiber laser machines are expensive, but this one is still affordable. It is available for $6,299. The price is low because the optical power is only 50W. But it is powerful enough to mark and engrave metals.
The machine also has a chuck rotary that can hold cylindrical and irregular objects for engraving. Thus, users can engrave metallic tumblers, keychains, metal sheets, lockets, jewelry, and many other items. It supports multiple files, including JPG, TIF, PNG, DXF, BMP, and PLT. The marking speed can be up to 7mm per second, which is a lot compared to diode laser machines.
The machine is available with 2-year warranty service. Buyers can buy it with confidence.
Laser engraving is a great business, and users can earn a handsome amount by making products through engraving and selling them online. It is an easy and quick source of earning that can start from your own home and with a little investment. There is a wide variety of products that can be made, and we have highlighted many of them. A laser engraver empowers you to make anything you like; brainstorm ideas, and implement them using the machine.
Simply put, laser engraving is a profitable business. Beginners can choose to start earning from their homes. We have also selected some of the best laser engraving machines to help our readers in making the right decision. Choose a suitable machine according to your budget and business idea and start earning.