One of the things we intend to do is put barcodes on all of our macbooks with this bad boy. It takes about 1:30 to etch on… Works great on a sample… It should take around 8-10 hours to complete.
That said, that’s a pretty mass run. Are there any concerns with using a printer all day to etch aluminum? Will it harm the laser or wear it down more aggressively versus wood? Is there anything to look out for or maintain as we are going along? Aluminum toxicity is also totally a thing on large scale projects. Do we need to wear a mask all day while running this or is expelling this out the door adequate for our protection?
No more than anything else - the laser is firing just the same.
Probably better than doing wood, as far as cleanliness.
You aren’t really doing anything to the aluminum itself. You are ablating/vaporizing the anodized surface (yes, I know that is aluminum oxide) and the material “removed” is really pretty insignificant (microns deep). How much of it goes airborne, I couldn’t tell ya… but any general ventilation set up should be fine.
That’s kind of what we were saying… The amount of vaporized material is miniscule compared to… say… welding 2 aluminum surfaces together… Is it removing the material or more just opening it up to re-oxidize in a less controlled way causing a color contrast, do you think?
Does anyone have any idea how apple gets their text onto the back of their laptops in black so our barcode can be in black instead of white? Some barcode scanners have more trouble w/ white text… It’s surely laser engraved. I’m assuming they squeegee some black ink into it immediately after cutting to fill it in black. We’re going to give that a try tomorrow…
Could also just use watered down black paint and brush it on, wait a few secs and wipe off with damp rag. Same process for weathering props. The black will stick in the engraved area and should come off cleanly every where else. (assuming its water based paint)
@keith.cameron might still be lurking, but they haven’t had any activity for three years, so I don’t know that they’ll see your question. It might be worth starting your own topic in the ‘Everything Else’ category to see if others have any suggestions.