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.

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:


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


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.


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



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.



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:
“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.”
“What’s going on, what are you trying to do?”
“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).”
“Maybe it’s the laser cutter having issues.”
“Hey, just pointing out the obvious.”
“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!”
(scratches head) – “Well, at least you’re using the scientific method now, so there is that.”

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: