Engraving charger plates

I need help from the community. I have a possible order to engrave a companies logo on 300 plastic charger plates. I’m not sure of the settings. I’m going to be doing a few samples. Any help would really be appreciated.

First of all, you must ensure that the plates are not made of PVC, which will damage your laser. Then, determine what material they are made of if not PVC, and search the forum for that material plus the word “settings.” That should get you close.


What she said. You can ruin your machine (and possibly damage your health) by burning the wrong kind of plastic in it.


Thanks so much!

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Thanks Jules.

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Then, I don’t know how much to charge?


Thanks, this is very helpful to me! I never know what to charge for stuff, I don’t want to charge too much but I don’t want to charge to where I lose money

There are a lot of guides like this, you may be able to find one geared more specifically towards your business.
here’s another, with infographics, about determining an hourly rate for freelancers:

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I always find these interesting and so simplified. CNC can really alter the pricing landscape compared to more traditional methods of making due to the simplicity of adding multiple machines to expand your production capacity.

If you have 2 lasers, are you going to decrease the “your time” variable by half just because you doubled your production capabilities?

I would think No, it is the same amount of my time to load/unload two machines as it would be to load/unload one of them twice, and it’s the same amount of machine time, just split between two machines. Since two machines could allow you to produce the same amount of a given product in less time, you could charge more for delivering faster, or add value for your client by charging the same but delivering faster, or being able to build more backstock of a product.

but I agree that these kinds of guides are simplified, and don’t apply across the board for every person in every business. The main takeaway from all of them, the nasty bit, is to start by determining your overhead, your billable hours, and how much you want/need to make in order to either break even (hobby) or make a profit (commercial).

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I’m lucky I was able to get one laser never mind 2. So if it takes 20 minutes to do one logo, then I multiply it by 300 because that’s how many they need engraved on, that’s a total of 600 minutes(not counting taking the material in and out of the laser and setting the pattern). Is $5 each engrave a good price?

I can’t tell you that…

But, I can tell you your math is off:
20 minutes per engrave, and you have to do 300 of them… is 6,000 minutes, which is 100 hours, if you are doing them one at a time. Which is 2.5 weeks of work if you’re committing 8 hours a day towards it.

$1500 for 10 hours of laser time… if you don’t want the job I do.

$1500 for 100 hours of laser time… that’s math you have to square with.
As a hobbyist, $500 a week would satisfy me; but in reality it would take more time than I have to meet the deadline.

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Ok, thanks.

What I can tell you is that using a day rate works well for me. Figure that out and then you can price jobs accordingly.

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I found out that the chargers are made of95% polypropylene and 5% polyurethane. Is that okay to use?

You can laser polypropylene safely, but you might not get the results you expect.

(No color change for instance, from what I’ve read…you’re basically going to just cut grooves in it that might not be terribly visible.)

Test one before taking the job. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks Jules

Hi Jules,
I found out that the chargers are 95%Poly propylene and 5% polyurethane. My question to you now is how do I engrave on them? I had to take the crumb tray out because otherwise with the curve of the plate it would’ve been too tall so I put a three-quarter inch base underneath it. The customer wants me to engrave on Gold and silver chargers. I couldn’t find gold or silver, so I found a red and thought I would practice on that. The first image is with blue painters tape on top, in the settings are on medium acrylic engraving. The second image is The same setting, but I did not use the tape. Do you have a suggestion as to what would be best to set it on to avoid a severe burn?

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