Is this actually ANODIZED aluminum?

I got some aluminum business card blanks an did engraving tests today. I am having a hard time getting a nice sharp image like I saw @Xabbess post… At any legible power/speed combo I get some blooming that obscures detail. The best settings I developed are also pretty different than I have seen on other anodized project posts–much lower power.

Because I am able to mark this stuff at super low power and top speed, I wonder if this is some kind of ink coating and not actually anodized? The only colors sold were printer’s cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, which really makes me suspicious too!

(I have a few anodized blank rounds from Ringlord and these business cards are definitely more shiny, but I haven’t tried engraving on the Ringlord products yet.)

image

(What you cannot see clearly in the photo is that the speed 1000/power 12 test isn’t all the way through the blue layer.)

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Did you double check the focus height?

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It’s a little hard to tell from the picture, but that blue coating looks like the protective plastic that comes on brushed aluminum sheets when I get them (they are not anodized).

Can you peel that blue layer off?

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Focus height is correct at 0.016", thank you for mentioning that.

The color is definitely bonded to the metal in some way. It isn’t masking, but it does look like that blue plastic film in the photo.

These were sold for laser engraving, labeled as anodized, and you definitely can mark them… It just isn’t providing the razor-sharp edge I was expecting.

I can probably redesign my art around the detail issue but that isn’t the point any more, know what I mean? :slight_smile:

Just checked my book ‘o settings and I used full power, 1000 speed, and 340 LPI. The result was a nice crisp image. I know you tried that so not sure what’s up.

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Thanks for confirming that.

I just threw in a Ringlord piece with those settings (and some others) and the quality was MUCH better. I guess my “anodized” business cards are just crummy!

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I’m pretty sure I purchased mine from Ringlord too. After dialing in the settings everything has come out pretty well.

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After an attempt to engrave some at low power, it became clear that much more power was needed. My best results were at full power too.

Don’t give up on the cards yet.

Not all anodizing is created equal, some will be thicker than others depending on the product manufacturer and any specifications that need to be met.

The first time I engraved anodized aluminum it was on an iPod. I used 90% power 1000 speed and TWO passes to get completely through the anodizing layer.

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