Author Topic: Laser engraving metal  (Read 2390 times)

nottingham82

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Laser engraving metal
« on: June 30, 2017, 09:38:51 AM »
I think I have a way to etch metal.... stand by for a run down if it works...  Got a tip from a guy on facebook that i'm gonna try today. 
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ThothLoki

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 03:48:47 PM »
Oh, please share when you test!!!!
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nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 11:57:44 PM »
well it didnt go entirely as planned.  Need to buy some replacement stuff.  More details later.  But as a proof of concept.... I'm getting there!
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
OS: Windows 10 all in one pc
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http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

Zax

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 04:36:57 AM »
Not bad for a start. I was expecting an additive process (black mark) but it looks etched so you must be doing something else.  ::)

nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 07:33:56 AM »
An additive process!!?!? What do we look like? a 3d printing forum?  It's all about the subtraction of materials! :) actually i didnt expect it to turn goldish.  I will try again today and see if i can get this process working.
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
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http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

mrehmus

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2017, 07:53:21 AM »
If that is a Zippo, the underlying metal is brass so what you did is remove the chrome finish.
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nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2017, 07:55:18 AM »
It's not a Zippo but it is a Zippo like device. So it must have a similar construction
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Stonemull

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2017, 10:36:02 AM »
Activating a chemical like an acid or alkali i reckon.
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Tonyaloney

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 10:27:13 AM »
I made a few test runs at metal. Gonna upgrade my 2.8w laser to a 10w and try again.

I did find that an additive helps the etching process when I was using a 2.5w laser. Haven't tried it with my 2.8w laser.

I took a Sheetrock mud spatula (shiny chromish look) and sprayed chrome moly lube on it. Let the spray dry completely, then burn away. It leaves a dark etching on the surface once you wash the lube off after you burn it.

I did manage to get good results on anodized aluminum business cards. I just have the 1 picture I took, which is attached below....
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nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2017, 11:57:38 AM »
got it!  Ok so the results werent amazing because I need a rotary axis.  Here is the process


Paint your piece
remove the paint with the laser creating a mask
get an old ac to dc charger.  5-12 volts 1-3 amps. 
wire the negative to a piece of copper
Wire the positive to the piece
wrap the copper in in cotton and dip in salt water
dab the cotton wrapped copper on the mask for 5 seconds at a time
when done remove paint.

Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
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http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 11:59:15 AM »
I hit the schneider one with some ac after the dc.  it arcs like crazy and is supposed to darken the etch.  I think it did.  The ranch one should have been smaller.  It got too out of focus.
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
OS: Windows 10 all in one pc
Software: T2
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

ThothLoki

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 12:09:51 PM »
DUDE!!!! STOP!!!!!

Now I have to do this as well. First wood, then slate, then glass/acrylic, NOW METAL!!!

Seriously, that is friggin SWEET. Thanks for sharing. I too am looking at rotary designs. The wife wants some wine glasses etched. Now I can etch my stainless coffee mug!!!!
Laser: A5 2000mw with L7 Board / A3 2500mw PWM with Mana SE -- All using T2Laser
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nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2017, 12:26:04 PM »
haha first a 3d printed cap now a laser mask electro etch.  Your coffee cup is all modded out.
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
OS: Windows 10 all in one pc
Software: T2
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

nottingham82

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2017, 12:34:48 PM »
fyi you may electrocute yourself.... thats why you need to use low volts and low amps.  If you electrocute yourself that is your fault so no blaming me! :)  Oh and the most of the new dc converters wont work because they are smart and wont let you short circut them.  I got mine for $.60 at goodwill.
Laser: 2500mw A5 eleks maker
OS: Windows 10 all in one pc
Software: T2
http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_290386.html Paid $160 in 2016

ThothLoki

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Re: Laser engraving metal
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2017, 12:37:25 PM »
I have already electrocuted myself way too many times. I am in construction, it's part of the job (at least thats what they tell me). I have a huge box of wall-warts of various voltages and amps. I am sure I will find one that works.
Laser: A5 2000mw with L7 Board / A3 2500mw PWM with Mana SE -- All using T2Laser
3D Printer: Monoprice Maker Select v2.1
Image Resizer Applications (All OS): http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,1434.msg17297.html#msg17297