How Does Laser Engraving Work?


Before we “Fire the Laser” lets cover the basics.

What is Laser Engraving & What Trayvax Uses It For?

Laser engraving refers to the method of using a Laser to create markings on leather, stainless steel or aluminum. A computerized laser uses energy to cut, charr or vaporize a surface to change its appearance. Many of our products are laser engraved to express the Trayvax ideals, such as the "MADE IN USA" lettering on the Contour wallet. Carry around your Trayvax gear confident that all of our laser engraving processes took place at our shop in the United States.

We have found many uses for lasers beyond marking the products themselves. With laser machinery we create materials to be used in the warehouse, cut detailed paper packaging, and quickly test designs for product development. Watching the laser create the first prototypes of a new product is a feat to experience, like the sheath of the Trek Field Knife seen in the cover photo GIF.

Lasers have become quick and useful tools in our creation process. Being able to make on-the-go design changes allows us to innovate new systems that are both time and cost effective.

Why Custom Laser Engraving?

We offer custom laser engraving on a variety of our products. Our full grain leather is perfect for customizing a permanent marking that will last a lifetime. A traditional engraving of someone’s name or inside joke is a perfect gift idea that will be cherish for years to come. There is nothing like having a custom wallet, keychain or piece of outdoor gear that perfectly expresses yourself, or reminds you of a friendship or loved one.

Engraving does not fade over time like paints or dyes. Laser engraving cuts into the layers of metal, leather or stainless steel without removing excess material, maintaining resistance to corrosion. For some items, the engraving can be less than a tenth of a thousandth of an inch deep, such as on the contour or keydex. You can run your finger across the engraving and not even feel it. Despite how thin this cut is, it can last for hundreds of years in the right material.

How Does Laser Engraving Work?

When it comes to laser engraving, most of the work is in preparation for starting the etching process. Everything is pre-planned and triple checked for inconsistencies. The machine itself needs to be checked for positioning, making sure the product is correctly orientated with the laser. We are working with a three dimensional product, so all axes of position and rotation are checked and considered.

The laser is run using computer control, which requires CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided machining) to tell the laser machinery which markings to make and where. The laser itself needs to be checked to have the correct focal point, which is like the point of a cone where the engraving is sharpest and most powerful. Once everything is triple checked - focal point, product, and machine instructions - you just hit “Go” & the computer takes care of the rest.

Engraving is a balance of machine instruction, product placement, and attention to detail. Most time is spent coordinating the software, machine, and item to work together without any unexpected behaviors. Take a quick tour around the engraving area with Blake, who heads all the engraving in the company.

How do I get my next product Laser Engraved?

Currently we are offering laser engraving on the OG 2.0, Ascent and Element. 

We are excited to announce the addition of The Summit Notebook, Summit Sleeve, Contour Strap and Explorer Passport as engraving options. We are thriving to offer engraving on all our products in the near future.

Upon adding a product to your online cart, there will be an "ENGRAVE IT" button. Enter the desired text, accept the engraving terms and conditions and please double check everything is correct.

If you have any questions feel free to contact

Laser Engraving Fun Facts:

-One of our lasers creates a laser by energizing a huge synthetic ruby.
-One of our lasers creates a laser by energizing CO2 gas.
-Lasers are one of the fastest ways to prototype products.
-Pulse lasers sometimes pulse for as little as a billionth of a second to carve materials.


Brian Z - Trayvax Content Creator

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1 comment



Can you engrave on an ascent wallet I currently have or does it have to be new

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