Over the past few decades, custom laser engraving has become commonplace in professional worlds metalworking and jewel crafting. Initially, laser engraving was a service only available for high end purchases such as jewelry or expensive knives and guns. As laser technology has become more and more affordable, businesses have become able to provide custom laser engraving services for products as mundane as picture frames and dog tags.

Up until recently, engraving was a skill reserved for artisans and professional jewel crafters and metalworkers. These engravers used traditional techniques and tools to create a unique look and appearance that could be personalized and cherished forever. This was a long, labor intensive process that left little room for error and required a skilled hand to ensure a quality finished product. While artisans still exist (typically in jewel crafting inscribing initials or names on rings and pendants), they are a much smaller portion of the engraving community as a whole. Modern operations require laser engraving machines, and skilled technicians to make certain no raw material is wasted on engravings that are not improperly done

Laser engraving differs from traditional engraving in the sense that it's far more precise, repeatable, and inexpensive for bulk orders. Modern engraving workshops can produce items as simple as customized business cards printed on metal, for a price as low as two dollars per card, leaving little room for the artisan engraver to make much of a living. While the plight of artists may be considered a tragedy for some, as costs of technology drop, the once miraculous advent of the laser engraving machine has become accessible to even a hobbyist engraver.

While an industrial engraving machine costs as much as one hundred thousand dollars, and a professional machine can cost as much as twenty thousand, there are laser engraving solutions available for as little as one thousand dollars. These machines typically use a 40 Watt carbon dioxide laser, and are suitable for cutting small patterns, words and phrases onto small pieces of metal. From there, the grooves can be painted, or colored with fine paintbrushes.

Precision laser engraving has become inexpensive for those looking to purchase a unique piece of art, or even a simple way to differentiate their business cards. While the artists may not be able to make a living with engraving as easily, custom laser engraving is both accessible and beautiful for individuals and businesses alike.