Author Topic: Laserable Aluminum  (Read 5049 times)

Agastar

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2016, 06:09:03 AM »
Can you describe what the coating on the aluminum feels like? I'm curious as to what they have coated it with and how durable it is.

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2016, 08:04:33 AM »
It feels like a coat of thick paint...in my case Black paint (not sure what it really is)...but very smooth on the surface...the laser burns through this, and under it, is a gold surface that the laser doesn't burn through...its this gold color that you see as the lettering/text.
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Agastar

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2016, 09:16:23 AM »
Very interesting! Thanks for the feedback.

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2016, 09:24:43 AM »
You can order different colors for the lettering/text...I just choose Gold but they have other colors...this really turned out well, I may start to make some signs and plaques...but I need to find more hours in the day  :D
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Agastar

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2016, 10:07:30 AM »
Yeah I totally understand the need for more time. In fact, when I got my Amateur Extra class call sign (N3MH) for ham radios, my wife came up with a neat way to remember it. She said I'm always needing more time so she said it stood for Need 3 More Hours LOL!

I am a big fan of DIY and the reason I asked about the look and feel of the coating is because I wondered if it might be powder coat that they used to make these. It kinda makes sense if it is since there is a ton of info on the web about laser etching powder coated metal. Since a light color under a dark color should allow the dark color to be removed without affecting the lighter color underneath, this just might be doable. I'll have to test this out to be sure. I don't have gold but I do have white and black powder coat powder that I've used for making fishing lures so I'll have to try that and see.

I've actually been working on the opposite of this for the PCB fab project. I'm working on a formula for turning powder coat into a liquid that can be applied with an air brush or a plain old bristle brush, then cured with the laser and the excess simply rinsed off with water. 

I had forgotten that you had ordered this stuff but when I saw the update and the results it made me wonder lol.

One last question, what post cleanup (if any) did you have to do?

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2016, 10:16:59 AM »
I don't know for sure about it being powder coated but I would say you're right...the top finish is so hard and smooth I'll bet it is powder coating...!!!

There is no clean up to do at all...when the material arrives, all you have to do is remove the protective coating layer of clear plastic, by peeling it off the black surface, comes off easy and then you're ready to laser...after you laser, you're done....nothing else to do...just cut out the size you need around your lettering and mount it in a frame...or cut it first and then laser...either way it looks just great...!!!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 10:17:38 AM by Administrator »
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poolhound

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2016, 10:27:31 AM »
This is very interesting. How do you cut the aluminium sheets cleanly and then how will you attached to whatever you will mount it on?
Jon
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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2016, 10:34:03 AM »
I'm sure there are different ways to do that but I would use tin sheers...the sheet is thin enough that I think tin sheers would work fine. Obviously if you have access to a metal shop you would use a cutting table which would be the tool of choice but I don't have access to that so its tin sheers for me!

Mounting it into a frame is just like mounting a picture, open the back, slide in the sheet and close it back up. Done!

For a plaque, I would just spread some glue on the back of the sheet (not sure yet which kind yet) and press it onto the face of the wooden plaque and lay a heavy book on it for half a day. Done!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 10:34:56 AM by Administrator »
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poolhound

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2016, 10:41:49 AM »
If its to go in a frame the edges will be hidden so sheers would probably work fine. It is probably my level of skill with sheers but I have never managed to get a perfectly clean edge which would be required for a plaque.

I know its overkill but I guess my tablesaw would work.
Jon
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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2016, 10:44:04 AM »
Regardless of how the sheet is cut for a plaque, you will have to do some edge sanding to clean it up some.
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Agastar

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2016, 11:12:26 AM »
Thanks for the info!

Airborndaddy

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2016, 04:45:36 PM »
This material is .020 aluminum, with a brass plated finish under the powder coated black top layer.

As for cutting, I get an extremely clean edge with the use of an aluminum shear. Guillotine style not shears. I have access to this type of machinery since I work in Aerospace industry.

Thanks for all the feedback, I really like this material and for what I use my laser for this is a huge advantage.

I am getting ready to increase the size of my working area with some extruded aluminum from us.misumi-ec.com.
Going to a 16inch x 24inch working area. Just need to order new belts.

Someone needs to design a belt tensioner that is easily adjustable, maybe a small ratchet head attached to the end so you can get them good and tight and adjust as they stretch

ggallant571

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2016, 05:24:24 PM »
I await your belt tension design!!!! If possible, I would like it yesterday.
SARCASM - Just one more service we offer here.

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Re: Laserable Aluminum
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2016, 06:14:57 PM »
I've been using this (designed it myself) and its really easy to adjust. Just pinch the clamps, pull up a little on the belt, release the clamp. Very easy and fast to do.

Here is the original post I did on my belt anchors: http://benboxlaser.us/index.php?topic=72.0

I made a couple of different designs but this one works the best!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 06:15:31 PM by Administrator »
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