Just wondering if anyone has tried to engrave on the “Soft Touch” rubberized pens??? Here’s a link to show the pens I’m hoping to engrave:
According to the description they’re wrapped in rubber, which is definitely engravable. A search for rubber settings got me here:
Now, clearly that’s not going to be the exact same stuff, but it should get you started on your path to your perfect settings
Thanks for the reply! It turns out that the barrel of the pen is made of aluminum and the rubberized “soft touch” part is actually three layers…a top layer that sets the outside color of the pen. When you engrave that on low power you expose a gray-white layer underneath. However, at higher power you get below the white-gray layer into a black layer until you reach the aluminum body of the pen. The two top layers are very thin so it’s tricky to find the right settings. I’m testing lots of speed/power/lines per inch combinations to get this just right.
It only takes a 3 to score masking!
I’m finding these pens to be quite the challenge. Too little power and I don’t expose the white/gray underlayer. Just a little more power (or slower speed or more lines per cm) and I burn through the white/gray layer to a darker layer that doesn’t contrast well with the color of the pen. I know I can get these pens engraved when I purchase them, but now it’s a challenge to figure this out. Maybe I’m missing something??? And constructive suggestions will be much appreciated.
Without knowing exactly how you’re modifying your settings I’m going to start from scratch.
First - in the interest of ease, I’d cut the covering off a pen and tape it down to a piece of waste material.
Second - Since you know it takes a pretty light touch I’d set up an engrave test that starts at literally 1 power and goes up in increments of 1 to 10 with 270lpi and probably 1000 speed. A test would literally be just a block of colour maybe 1/8" square. Line up 10 of those, and manually change just the power.
Third - Decide which of those 10 you like the best
Fourth - Decide if you’d like the one you picked more if it were just deeper/lighter/whatever
Last - adjust lpi or speed to refine your actual final setting
Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed reply. I’ve more or less followed a systematic process to find settings that will work reasonably well, but I’m still refining them. Unfortunately, the outer covering is an integral part of the pen’s aluminum body and can’t be removed. That means that all the testing has to be done on the pen itself making testing a laborious process. There are a couple questions you and others may be able to help me with…what file format is best for engraving small text? The file I hope to use is a two-color (black/white) .jpg file. For the Glowforge, is it best to convert to dots or patterns or to vary the power. I chose to vary the power since I have a two-color image so I figured the power would be 0 (white) and 100% (black) when the image was engraved.
So white is always 0% no matter which method you use, but yes, vary power will give a single deep engrave based on how dark your non-white colour is (so a black will be deeper than a grey).
I find for things like text that vary is the way to go - BUT - the bonus of dots/patterns is that it won’t dig as deeply. I found dots better for things like people’s faces, and patterns better for differentiating between countries on a map - but really that’s artistic choice.
My default for almost everything is 270lpi unless I’m trying to go nice and deep.
OK…the best results I’ve had so far is speed=500 at 21% full power and 265 lines/cm or speed=250 @11% full power and 265 lines/cm. The faster speed is an advantage. These settings are for the light-blue pens. I have yet to try them on the dark-blue pens.
Hello, I am trying to engrave the same pens with difficult, Did you ever find a good setting?
Hello, I am trying to engrave the same pens with difficult, Did you ever find a good setting? I have tried asking for help everywhere and I am getting no where with anyone’s settings or help for that matter. Thank you for your time.
Did you bother to read the post directly above yours?
Yes, and those did not work
Then you need to test and find settings that do work for the material you are working with.
There are a number of different test strips on this site, but if you don’t like the one I posted higher up in this thread, then try this one will to you started:
If you want to search for others type “engrave test” into the search box