Cermark Ultra vs LBT Laserbond 100 on Aluminum

This is actually a test update to my original post about Cermark Ultra not sticking to aluminum - found here:

Sooo… I think I found a setting / spray combination that I’m 90% confident about … errr, maybe 85% confident. I’ll explain why in a moment, but the spoiler is – Use the black iPhone HD Engrave setting – which I believe is 1000 / 100 / 450lpi.

All of my fails from the previous post seem to be (mostly) due to using “Full” power. I had more success overall when I went to 100 power.

I also tested Cermark Ultra and LBT Laserbond 100, and the spoiler is… Laserbond 100 seems to work more consistently. Here is an image of one of the last tests I ran:


The aluminum on the left is the Laserbond, and the 2 aluminum pieces on the right are both Cermark (tested twice to be sure).

• Ankh 1000/100/450 (iPhone hd setting)

• Flower 800 / 90 / 450

• Leaf 700/80 / 450

• YinYang 600 / 70 / 450

• Butterfly iPhone setting x2 passes

• Bug 800 / 90 / 675

And this is why I say, my confidence is reasonably below 100%: (pictures of a punch ruler):



The top photo is of the panels right after the engrave. These were Cermark using the iPhone HD Engrave. Then the second photo is after I re-ran it with the 2 heart symbols using the iPhone HD engrave – washed off. So, failed once, worked the second time – same panels, same spray application. (Well, sort of worked, it’s still pretty sketchy).

And here is a picture of 2 punch ruler templates using Laserbond 100 (after washing clean):


This image is using the iPhone HD Engrave x2 on Laserbond 100 over aluminum. Not sure why I went for 2xs – because to the naked eye, it looks about the same as running it 1 time.

The kicker is, that I ran dozens of previous tests, a few of which actually worked, but not repeatedly. I have no explanation as to why. But the iPhone HD Engrave seems to be the most consistent so far.

SPRAY TIPS:
Even though both sprays say that they dry in 2 minutes, uhm … probably not. They look dry in 2 minutes, but if you pick up your metal and put it to the back of your hand, it’s quite cold, which lead me to believe the pieces were probably still a bit wet. So I did this:
• Spray
• Let Dry 5 minutes+ on its own
• Set on a heating pad for about 20 minutes (not heated by heat guns or ovens, just a warm heating pad)
• Removed from heating pad and set on the table for a minute, then re-check the metal temp by touching the back again. It should be about room temp.

Thanks to everyone who replied to the original post – it sent me in the right direction. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for sharing all of your test data. This will be very helpful to others.

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Very helpful! After 4 years with a Glowforge, marking on metal is a thing I still have not attempted. I really should give this a try.

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I’m planning on lasering some altoid tins soon, so your post is perfect timing!!

THANKS!

Jonathan

Nice write-up! These types of posts are what make this forum such a fantastic wealth of information!

And that is why I tried to be better about documenting it and posting – because I have found a wealth of helpful information in the forums from others as well . Just trying to help.
:slight_smile:

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ON A FUNNY NOTE:

At one point, I started getting so frustrated I considered just finding an all together different way to mark-up my metal pieces. I’d run a piece under some setting like 600/full/340, and it would stick, then I’d run it again, and it wouldn’t stick. And it went that way for a while.

So one evening, sitting on the patio with the hubby, I said:
Me:
“You know, I have this vision of getting the sledge hammer from my garage and just bashing the glass of the Glowforge just for momentary satisfaction.”
Hubby:
“What’s going on, what are you trying to do?”
Me:
“I’m trying to mark my metal with this marking spray. It works once, then doesn’t work twice, then it works once … and so on and so on. And the metal is all from the same sheet, cleaned the same way, sprayed at the same time … blah, blah blah (long explanation).”
Hubby:
“Maybe it’s the laser cutter having issues.”
Me:
:-/
Hubby:
“Hey, just pointing out the obvious.”
Me:
“You know, now that I’m thinking it through, when it was working, it was Wednesday, middle of the day, I was wearing a ball cap and green cargo pants. Then on Thursday when it wasn’t marking well again, it was later in the day and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. So … maybe I should just wait until next Wednesday and put the baseball cap and green cargo pants back on and try again. Maybe THAT IS THE KEY!”
Hubby:
(scratches head) – “Well, at least you’re using the scientific method now, so there is that.”

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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