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Apologies for the delayed reply, but no, it shouldn't damage the wire at all. The objective here is the recover an exposed wire with plastic.
Most of the major companies who make Laser cutters, make desktop versions. You can do a search for desktop laser cutter, and you'll find a several to compare against each other. I would suggest looking at what each offer, and deciding which best suits your needs based on cost, size and function.
What kind of engraving machine?
One question: what version of Ubuntu are you installing this on?Also, one place that might help (scroll down to the sudo code): http://pyqglviewer.gforge.inria.fr/wiki/doku.php?id=documentation
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