Using a 50 Watt Laser Cutter with tesa Laser-Labels

Laser cutter and engraver are the kind of cool thing after 3D printers which get more and more common. One interesting thing to use a laser engraver (or cutter) is to use it with tesa Laser Labels.

Tesa Laser Label

Tesa Laser Label (Source:

The concept is simple: instead printing labels, engrave them with a laser engraver. The labels are available in different colors, and the laser will remove the acrylic film.

Such labels are commonly used in the automotive industry or as an anti-tamper label (e.g. combined with a serial number or similar).

I managed to get a few samples I could tray with a 50W laser cutter. They already were used, but there was enough unused space I could tray with the laser machine. I used a scotch tape to stick the labels on a piece of plywood:

Laser Label

Laser Label

But engraving with 2% laser power at 20 mm/sec was still to much:

Vector Engraving

Vector Engraving

So even with the lowest setting it was burning the material 😦

Increasing the speed did not help:

Burning with high speed

Burning with high-speed

The laser power with 2% is still to high:



What somewhat worked was raster engraving an image:

Laser Rastering

Laser Rastering

Details shown below: For that image, the laser was rastering North-South with 2% power and 300 mm/sec.

Laser Raster Image

Laser Raster Image

This time it did not burn through, but the vertical lines really did not make it. Below the image used (size: 5×5 mm)

Test Image

Test Image


So my 50 Watt laser is too powerful for this kind of application. Tesa did not specify the power used/needed, but I think for such an application an engraver in the 5-10 Watt or below should be used. So I admit that my experiment failed, but anyway that would have been an interesting application :-).

Happy Labeling 🙂



6 thoughts on “Using a 50 Watt Laser Cutter with tesa Laser-Labels

  1. My 1.5W laser engraver would probably handle these labels, since I’ve been able to cut vinyl pretty easily. My engraver is homemade, and I chose the 1.5W laser just to start out with. I’ll probably work up to higher-powered lasers, but for “proof of concept” the 1.5W laser is fine.

    Interestingly my homemade engraver is able to resolve to 0.2mm dots with 0.2mm steps, and a work area of 120mm x 120mm.

    Keep up the great work, Erik!


    • Thinking more about it, indeed a 1-2 Watt laser should be able to do it. Thanks for confirming that 1.5W works for that kind of material. And pretty good accuracy, congratulations!


      • Thanks, Erich. Considering that I used the toothed edge of a CD tray along with its driving gear from a couple of gently-disassembled (okay, maybe not so gently) CD drives for the platform (c-axis) and also for the laser head (y-axis), I’m very pleased with the resolution and negligible backlash. I’d show you a picture of my set-up but can’t figure out how to do that here.


  2. Interesting idea! Have you tried to change the focal length (lower the table below) or to impose another material on top? I did on cardboard image of the in regime cutting capacity 5%, the speed 25mm/sec. The mode of engraving the cardboard was burning.


    • I have not tried that, but I doubt it would change anything: the laser beam would be more wide with less power, but this would affect the resolution too. I still think it will burn it too much.


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