Benbox Laser DIY Machines

General Category => Cutting => Topic started by: Larrylwill on July 28, 2016, 05:20:58 PM

Title: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 28, 2016, 05:20:58 PM
Im looking at a small 2500mw laser. I need to cut some stencils. I planed to use paper with sticky on the back.
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html

I have never had a laser engraver and do not know if its possible. The smallest Font I need is 14 but mostly for symbols. This is an example.
Can anyone help?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Administrator on July 28, 2016, 05:28:33 PM
Welcome Larry...!!!
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 28, 2016, 06:42:17 PM
Thank you
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on July 28, 2016, 07:16:19 PM
Welcome Larry.

I would suggest a knife cutter (plotter) for cutting vinyl, as it produces very toxic vapors with a laser.

The US Cutter brand is an excellent choice for value.

Cutting paper, card or engraving wood are perfect for the laser and you can probably buy laser safe materials if you prefer the laser approach.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 28, 2016, 07:32:48 PM
Do you mean a hand knife?  I cant find a knife cutter plotter. I have to cut out some letters size 14 type face. I know there to small to cut by hand. I do not want to stick them on I want to make a stencil so I can paint the symbols. I have some paper labels with a backing that I could peal off and stick to the metal and paint the cut out symbols. I also wont use it that much.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 28, 2016, 08:17:37 PM
Do you mean a vynal cutting plotter? Would it be more accurate cutting stencils?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Johnb63303 on July 28, 2016, 08:55:41 PM
Check out a cricut machine I had to get the better half one of them for her birthday.

 http://us.cricut.com/home/
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 28, 2016, 09:38:38 PM
I was looking at the Silhouette Portrait which is around $150. It looks similar, reading how small of fonts it will cut. The Bell Fruit looks to be about 14 size. I have to cut out the letters so to paint.
 
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on July 29, 2016, 05:27:32 AM
If your stencil material is paper based or "laser safe" then a laser would work great, you will get much better detail from in compared to a vinyl cutter. Just make sure you avoid any vinyl based products on the laser.

I was suggesting the US Cutter machines http://www.uscutter.com/Vinyl-Cutters as they are great value.

If I were doing this type of job, I would probably take the plexi and spray the back with black paint and then laser the symbols / text (which would remove the paint) and then color fill with acrylic to produce the final result. No stencils.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: mooseriver on July 29, 2016, 06:31:59 AM
I was thinking using shelf paper. Don't know if it has enough vinyl to be toxic?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 09:35:15 AM
These characters have to be put on a brass curved piece of metal.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on July 29, 2016, 09:45:14 AM
These characters have to be put on a brass curved piece of metal.

Oh, well that changes things  :D

It looked like backlit plexi and I've done those overlays in the past using the method I described but obviously here the goal is different.

A mask / stencil sounds like a good option, and since they are small and detailed a laser would work very well if you select the right material. Use a non-vinyl material, such as a polyester (sometimes confusingly called polyester "vinyl" but it isn't a PVC material and much safer). Laser cutting most plastics releases toxic gases, some worse than others so venting or filtering is highly recommended.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: dindunuffin on July 29, 2016, 10:00:47 AM
I'm sorry to interject, but every time you guys start talking about toxic gases, I cant help but think of this guy........the huffer. 
I just chuckle at the possibility that there is one guy that probably likes the smells associated with lasing plastic materials.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 10:02:44 AM
I've smelled burning plastic before trust me I don't want to smell it again.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 10:24:59 AM
http://www.gearbest.com/m-goods-sn-167912906.htm

I found this laser and they say it will cut a letter as small as 2mm Although I do not know if I believe that.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Administrator on July 29, 2016, 10:27:32 AM
http://www.gearbest.com/m-goods-sn-167912906.htm

I found this laser and they say it will cut a letter as small as 2mm Although I do not know if I believe that.

I think that is possible...the laser beam is about 0.25 in diameter (the 5.5w is larger than that) so you should be able to cut a 2mm letter. I have a 2.5w laser myself.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 10:47:30 AM
2 mm is 0.075 inch less than 1/8 inch. Are you sure? If so then it would work, 1/8 is about what I need.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Administrator on July 29, 2016, 10:57:53 AM
No I'm NOT sure it would work because I have not done that. I'm saying it *should* work.

Attached is a Polyline drawing object with 2mm length line segments.

Below is the gcode that my program BenCutLaser generated for this file. I ran this on my laser machine (laser beam off) and watched the laser head move. It seemed to me that these 2mm line segments would laser just fine so I see no reason why 2mm letters would not also laser OK.

G90 ( absolute positioning )
G21 ( units: mm )
G01 X000.0 Y000.0 F6400 ( home )

G01 X000.00 Y000.00 F6400 (laser head positioning )
M03 S204 ( power on )
G01 X002.00 Y000.00 F1400
G01 X002.00 Y002.00 F1100
G01 X000.00 Y002.00 F1400
G01 X000.00 Y004.00 F1100
G01 X002.00 Y004.00 F1400
G01 X002.00 Y006.00 F1100
G01 X000.00 Y006.00 F1400 ( polyline000 )
M05 S0 ( power off )

G01 X000.0 Y000.0 F6400 ( home )
M30 ( end of program )
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: TBN on July 29, 2016, 11:32:12 AM
I think that is possible...the laser beam is about 0.25 in diameter (the 5.5w is larger than that) so you should be able to cut a 2mm letter. I have a 2.5w laser myself.

I think Admin. meant 0.25mm.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 11:48:16 AM
Is there any advantage over a 500 mw vrs a 2500mw for what I need?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: TBN on July 29, 2016, 12:12:44 PM
The only advantage I can think of would be speed.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 12:21:14 PM
The 500mw is $89 and the 2500mw is $159, So I guess Ill get the 500mw. Maybe the spot size is also smaller also.
thank you
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 12:29:46 PM
I'm sorry to interject, but every time you guys start talking about toxic gases, I cant help but think of this guy........the huffer. 
I just chuckle at the possibility that there is one guy that probably likes the smells associated with lasing plastic materials.

Hey back in the 70's, in grade school, they told us to never sniff the metallic paints. Obviously that guy just does not listen! LOL

@LarryIwill; "The 500mw is $89 and the 2500mw is $159, So I guess Ill get the 500mw. Maybe the spot size is also smaller also.
thank you"

Look around a bit before you buy those they seem a bit high! You can buy a whole new 2500mw for $205.90 and a 1600mw for $180.90 at Banggood. At least you would have spare parts that way. And they have the 2500mw laser only for about $129 and the 2000mw for about $97. The 2000mw comes with a TTL board.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 12:43:26 PM
got any links
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 12:48:15 PM
See this thread I just posted.

http://benboxlaser.us/index.php?topic=470.0

Edit:
http://www.banggood.com/445nm-2000mW-2W-Blue-Laser-Module-For-DIY-Laser-Cutter-Engraver-p-1055244.html
http://www.banggood.com/445nm-2_5W-2500mW-Blue-Laser-Module-With-Heatsink-For-DIY-Laser-Cutter-Engraver-p-993521.html
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 12:56:26 PM
there just lasers Im looking at full lasers an x/y tables for $89 and $159
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 01:06:29 PM
Gearbest: Price + shipping included. (shipping $31.15 on A5's $33.16 on A3's)
Oh man the Gearbest A5's are in black now;
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_415066.html   A5 1600mw $245.61
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_415067.html   A5 2500mw $277.08
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_415427.html   A5 5000mw $463.97

Silver only in A3;
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_364361.html   A3 1600mw $225.96
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_364360.html   A3 2500mw $256.90
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_364363.html   A3 5000mw $407.39

Banggood: price + free shipping  (All silver)
http://www.banggood.com/1_6W-Desktop-DIY-Violet-Laser-Engraver-Engraving-Machine-Picture-CNC-Printer-Assembling-Kits-p-1000808.html    A5 $180.90
http://www.banggood.com/2_5W-Desktop-DIY-Violet-Laser-Engraver-Engraving-Machine-Picture-CNC-Printer-Assembling-Kits-p-1001413.html    A5 $205.90
No A5 5500mw

http://www.banggood.com/1600mW-A3-Desktop-DIY-Violet-Laser-Engraver-Picture-CNC-Printer-Assembling-Kits-30x40cm-p-1003489.html      A3 1600mw $226.15
http://www.banggood.com/2500mW-A3-30x40cm-Desktop-DIY-Violet-Laser-Engraver-Picture-CNC-Printer-Assembling-Kits-p-1003863.html      A3 2500mw $251.80
http://www.banggood.com/5500mW-A3-30x40cm-Desktop-DIY-Violet-Laser-Engraver-Picture-CNC-Printer-Assembling-Kits-p-1009577.html      A3 5500mw $490.50

These are full machines, price and shipping. I would like to see the link to your to compare.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 01:12:08 PM
I found your link.
Dang it I did not catch the flash sales in my post.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 01:21:01 PM
Yes Gearbest is where I found the 2500mw and the 500mw for those prices, I also checked banggood and they have a nice size table. So If the 500mw will do what I want I am going to get one. If I find a use other than cutting stencils I can always upgrade the laser later.
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290389.html

$89 3 days left
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 01:27:15 PM
Hard to beat at $117.70
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 01:38:25 PM
Now what can I do with it besides make stencils?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 01:45:36 PM
Ah you can burn your fingers! LOL. Make wooden business cards.  Cut out plywood art......
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 01:48:14 PM
and make 1 stencil for $120 maybe.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on July 29, 2016, 01:52:15 PM
LOL.

Hopefully you will use it for more than just the one stencil!
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 01:58:15 PM
Wall I talked to a antique slot dealer and he said if I could make stencils for the machine Im restoring he would buy some and others.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Larrylwill on July 29, 2016, 03:51:54 PM
Now that its ordered what do you suggest I use to cut stencils. I mean stencils I can stick on a surface and cut out the letters and symbols and paint through?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Agastar on October 27, 2016, 12:33:55 PM
Just as an FYI to those looking to make stencils...

I just made some PCB stencils from Adhesive backed Kapton Sheets from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J4Q688Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

This stuff worked really well for that and I'll probably use this stuff for other types of stencils as well.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: ggallant571 on October 27, 2016, 01:42:10 PM
I'm assuming you cut the stencil with the laser.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Agastar on October 27, 2016, 01:48:54 PM
Correct :)

I didn't realize that it was adhesive backed but I kinda like it that way. I can cut a stencil for anything and then peel it off and stick it onto whatever I'm going to stencil. Over time the adhesive will stop working and then it will just be a normal stencil.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: beikeland on October 27, 2016, 02:40:32 PM
I take you have not experienced any tearing of the stencil when peeling it off? I've used kapton tape quite a lot, and find that the smallest nick makes it easy to tear. Maybe the laser cutting fuses a border around the holes to prevent this?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on October 27, 2016, 02:50:40 PM
I take you have not experienced any tearing of the stencil when peeling it off? I've used kapton tape quite a lot, and find that the smallest nick makes it easy to tear. Maybe the laser cutting fuses a border around the holes to prevent this?

Try the 4mil stuff it is pretty robust. Most is 2mil.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: ggallant571 on October 27, 2016, 04:51:04 PM
Ordered some. Do you think a solvent like acetone would remove the adhesive?
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Lob0426 on October 27, 2016, 05:05:46 PM
Most Likely acetone will do it. I clean the bed after removal with Isopropyl Alcohol. You may find the clear backing sheets useful too. They are nice and thick. Probably cannot cut them with the Laser.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Agastar on October 27, 2016, 05:57:59 PM
Yeah, the stuff I got was 4mil and yeah I too think that the acetone would probably work well for removing the adhesive.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: ggallant571 on October 27, 2016, 06:22:01 PM
Noticed that they also have 6mil.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Agastar on October 28, 2016, 05:30:54 AM
6 mil would probably work well too.

Here is a pic of the stencil cut out and on the PCB.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: beikeland on October 29, 2016, 02:12:35 AM
cool! Have you seen this btw? Maybe there are some projects where just manually dispensing the solder paste may be quicker for one offs?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2129383335/i-extruder-smart-solder-paste-and-fluids-dispenser

Depending on final weight adding it to a machine may be an option. I see they're working on "pick and place" features as well now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQmnu8NbQDs
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Agastar on October 29, 2016, 04:28:15 AM
I had not seen that but that is pretty cool!
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: beikeland on October 29, 2016, 05:15:27 AM
Yeah, a little too expensive for me I think, but I would like one for sure! Thought I'd mention it tough:)
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Agastar on October 31, 2016, 07:08:57 AM
Yeah, I was a little surprised by the price too. Shouldn't be too hard to replicate though :)
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Elephantman on December 03, 2016, 09:01:56 PM
In Oz, I've purchased adhesive vinyl book covering (called contact here" and found using the standard benbox with a high speed that cuts just the vinyl and not the backing paper, minimal fumes although i still wouldn't breathe directly.
I can then remove the unwanted pieces, and it leaves me a fine edged sticker i can use.
Whilst I haven't done it yet, I have thought with more intricate pieces with parts not necessarily joined,  about placing clear vinyl adhesive over the top to hold it all together and create a solid sticker.
My other intention is to just create stencils i can then stick on glass and use acid to etch.

Cheap book vinyl, seems effective enough for me.

John
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on December 04, 2016, 04:37:28 AM
Welcome out of the shadows Elephantman  ;D

You are obviously very creating based on your other post and this one.

The good thing is book vinyl is generally not PVC but actually a polyester material so relatively safe to laser.

You can usually tell if it has a little texture to it, the really glossy smooth stuff that's stretchy is most likely PVC and not safe to laser.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Colka on January 07, 2017, 08:15:19 AM
Hi Guys

Just my 2 pennies worth (Yes I live in the UK)

 I do a lot of airbrushing I tend to use a lot of different materials depending on the application, I generally use 75Micron Mylar sheets for most purposes any thicker and the 2.5w laser needs to be pretty slow. I also use transparency sheets. I have also used Frisket masking film which is fantastic for repositioning due to the low tack adhesive used on the back. Not to mix it up with DCfix, which usually has a high tack and not easily removed. For throw away stencils std cardstock for cardmaking is perfect and if need to stick it down spray the back of it with spray on adhesive.

I agree with Zax and others cutting vinyl, use a vinyl cutter eg. Silhouette cameo or something similar. The stench in cutting it is second to none. Besides you might end up in the hospital  ;D
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: ggallant571 on January 07, 2017, 08:30:31 AM
This type of information is really useful. The differences in generic/slang  names across the globe definitely can cause confusion.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: nottingham82 on January 14, 2017, 12:24:14 PM
Hi Guys

Just my 2 pennies worth (Yes I live in the UK)

 I do a lot of airbrushing I tend to use a lot of different materials depending on the application, I generally use 75Micron Mylar sheets for most purposes any thicker and the 2.5w laser needs to be pretty slow. I also use transparency sheets. I have also used Frisket masking film which is fantastic for repositioning due to the low tack adhesive used on the back. Not to mix it up with DCfix, which usually has a high tack and not easily removed. For throw away stencils std cardstock for cardmaking is perfect and if need to stick it down spray the back of it with spray on adhesive.

I agree with Zax and others cutting vinyl, use a vinyl cutter eg. Silhouette cameo or something similar. The stench in cutting it is second to none. Besides you might end up in the hospital  ;D

Zax and I are in the people's republic of tree hugging California.  Mylar is a banned substance.  You could kill whales with it.  Also banned... many types of printing ink, windshield washer fluid that doesnt freeze, fun, cow flatulence, and annoying birds. 
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on January 14, 2017, 12:44:35 PM
Not me... I'm in Texas!
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: nottingham82 on January 14, 2017, 12:54:21 PM
OH its ralph in california.  He's down in LA.
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: mattcanpaint on February 06, 2017, 07:42:07 PM
I have cut 500+ insanely detailed stencils with my  SC 34" cutter from US Cutter.
I also have a 5.5 watt laser cutter and can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the SC 34 is 1,000,000 times better for stenciling and here's why.

-The SC is lightning fast, can cut at 800mm per second vs my max speed of 800mm per MINUTE on my laser cutter.

-I would argue that it's more accurate than a laser cutter. The razors edge is smaller than the focus dot from my laser beam. Accuracy will never be an issue.

-It's a solidly built machine with dedicated customer service as opposed to my rickety laser cutter from some podunk town in China.

I've mastered the art of stenciling on a vinyl plotter and can answer questions you might have via dm.
-Matt
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: nottingham82 on February 06, 2017, 07:45:18 PM
What did that cost you
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on February 07, 2017, 03:27:57 AM
I have several US Cutter machines, they're relatively cheap and work great. The largest I have will cut 70 inches wide and gets used to cut truck/trailer graphics in one piece.

Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Ed on February 16, 2017, 04:02:58 AM
I am looking to cut plastic stencils but I am concerned about safety. I would like to use a plastic material like " Transparency Film"

I am looking for a source to purchasing safe material that I can cut with my 2.5 w laser
Title: Re: Cutting stencils
Post by: Zax on February 16, 2017, 04:56:32 AM
When cutting any plastics you should have adequate ventilation, but in general polyester films are much safer. You can find transparency film that is polyester (sometimes called "laser" or inkjet transparency, although this refers to a laser printer where the laser doesn't actually hit the film but it can withstand the heat process).

The material to avoid is PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or it's derivatives.