Every so often on Instagram I share a video of the stamps being made. So in this post I actually wanted to tell you a bit of how they are made and about lasers in general (don't worry it won't be a science lesson). The laser engraver I use to make my stamps is a CO2 laser.
A CO2 laser is a type of gas laser. The gas in the tube is a mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen and helium. The laser works by running electricity through a gas-filled glass tube, producing light. The ends of the tube are mirrors; one is fully reflective and the other lets some light through a small aperture.
Light from a CO2 laser is powerful enough to cut materials like fabric, wood and paper; the most powerful CO2 lasers are used for machining steel and other metals. Although the highest-powered CO2 lasers run over 1,000 W, the one that I use for making stamps is 45 W; by comparison, laser pointers are a few thousandths of a watt.
This is a time lapse gif of the laser engraving a custom stamp. When the stamps are engraved into the special rubber designed for laser engraved stamps a lot of dust is created. To keep the dust from catching fire a small air compressor blows away the debris as it engraves and a fan at the back of the machine sucks it out.
Any questions? Fire away!