Engraving .063" (14 Ga.) Aluminium Blanks


#1

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!


#2

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.


#3

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.


#4

My bad.


#5

Hmmm. It appears that they are just aluminum blanks. Cermark isn’t cheap! Whoa. I might need to go back to the drawing board…


#6

You can always break bad and DIY!


#7

No worries. Support would bump it over eventually.


#8

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.


#9

I’ll try some paint first round…see what happens.


#10

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.


#11

Whoa. Inventables looks like they have a LOT of great materials to use…time to shop and then play :slight_smile:


#12

If you’re after acrylic, estreetplastics.com doesn’t have quite as much selection, but they consistently beat inventables on price.


#13

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.


#14

Oh and if you’re after hardwoods, ocooch and green valley will usually beat inventables price by half.


#15

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.


#16

There have been posts about Moly Lube and marking metals. A search might prove useful. Here’s a few relevant posts:


#17

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?