I’m having trouble finding the correct settings to use to engrave some metal blanks I have. They should be fine to work with, but it’s like the laser doesn’t know it is there. I can put any other material in its place (it appears) and it will engrave it fine.
I tried full power, 70%, 30% and different speeds. So far, no luck.
Any advice would be welcome!
Are they just aluminum or anodized?
Ps. Bumped it over to beyond the manual. Support won’t be able to assist with settings on non-Proofgrade material.
Is it anodized aluminum or does it have a coating.
If it doesn’t have a coating or isn’t anodized, the Glowforge can’t mark it without some type of solution like Ceramark.
Hmmm. It appears that they are just aluminum blanks. Cermark isn’t cheap! Whoa. I might need to go back to the drawing board…
You can always break bad and DIY!
No worries. Support would bump it over eventually.
Not sure what you’ve tried, but:
These are nice:
Engrave really well.
Another option is to paint your metal and then engrave the paint away.
I’ll try some paint first round…see what happens.
As always use a bit of caution when lasing anything new. Acrylic paints are generally considered laser safe, but a MSDS is your best friend here.
You might also consider a number of engraving plastics that have a metallic (but not metal) top surface, inventables, trotec, BF plastics (and others) all have things like that.
There’s also engravable aluminum that is pretreated with a marking agent, google (or search forums) for “alumamark”.
If you want to go the anodized route, try
chewbarka.com, they sell a ton of blanks in different sizes and shapes.
Whoa. Inventables looks like they have a LOT of great materials to use…time to shop and then play
If you’re after acrylic,
estreetplastics.com doesn’t have quite as much selection, but they consistently beat inventables on price.
As mentioned by others, aluminum needs to be anodized, painted or coated with something like Cermark. Alumamark is great stuff and very easy to work with; without the mess or expense of Cermark. I get good results at 600/Full; which is also the same speed/power I use for Cermark. Anodized aluminum is even easier.
Oh and if you’re after hardwoods, ocooch and green valley will usually beat inventables price by half.
I’ve read a suitable substitute for Cermark is CRC Dry Moly Lube. You can see a few videos on YouTube of people using it with great results. I ordered mine on Amazon for around $10. Got it in today, but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.
There have been posts about Moly Lube and marking metals. A search might prove useful. Here’s a few relevant posts:
I did a search and found some past posts expressing disappointment in using dry moly lube for marking plain aluminum. Has anyone tried this with success? Ideas for starting settings?
I’d hate to reply to this discussion further about marking on metal under the post for plywood knots; however, I can’t resist responding since there has been so much talk about it. When I had access to a laser cutter a few years ago, I purchased some [dry moly lube] (
http://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/00155416) instead of purchasing Cermark, etc. I cleaned a piece of aluminum with IPA (isopropyl alcohol), waited for it to dry, and sprayed a coat of the dry moly lube all over the aluminum…
Here is my experiment with Aluminum marking, using CRC Dry Moly Lube (spray).
Lasered at 100power and 100 speed, 3 passes.
[IMG_5689] [IMG_5692] [IMG_5690]
As you can see, the result is faint. And the laser needed the extra passes to get this dark. The metal appears to be very slightly raised where the moly was (the metal wasn’t pitted like the stainless was.).
I have a new question. I need clear acrylic with a red edge…1/8" inch. I can only find orange, blue, and green. I’ve tried Inventables, estreetplastics, trotec, and bf plastics…any other ideas?
Laserbond 100 was developed by the inventor of ceramark, is less expensive, and performed better on all the materials tested by ToolMetrix:
The inventor even publishes a comprehensive list of settings for best results of each material including all types of metal, ceramic, and even glass: