Is there a way of reclaiming the unused stuff? It seems like you only laser a tiny fraction of it so if it could be recycled it wouldn’t cost much at all.
I used this w/ a 40W and it is not what I would call permanent. You could remove the stuff with ethanol and light scrubbing
I wonder that myself. But every video I see shows them literally washing the balance down the drain. So it looks like you just need to carefully plan were to put the stuff.
I’m pretty sure that’s an application issue.
It’s got to be the dry moly lube and not any with the liquid carriers. It also has to be sprayed on (multiple light coats seem to work for me) and then let set - e.g. don’t just throw it into the laser. Then I usually use full power, low speeds and wash with isopropyl alcohol. Then absent intentionally scrubbing it away it seems to act more like an anodization layer remnant than a scratchable paint or other surface coating.
@smcgathyfay did a lot of comparison tests if I recall correctly and dialed in some pretty good settings on her 30(?)W laser.
Can confirm that the dry moly lube works. I tried it with a homemade laser etcher a few years ago. It’s probably not as good as the Cermark, but it’s way less expensive if you’re just experimenting.
Perhaps it was an application issue, but I did use the dry moly lube, though maybe only one coat…but many passes on the laser at full power and slowest speed. I waited about 15 minutes to let it dry. Don’t get me wrong, it “worked”, but just wasn’t as durable as I’d want, and without Cermark experience, maybe that’s as good as one can get?
I just don’t think it would hold up well if you were trying to put markings on your tools and have them loose in your toolbox. I think the markings would get damaged pretty quickly. If it’s just used for art, then you’re probably just fine using it.
Overall, it seems like YMMV on this approach.
Probably. It’s way better than the laser engraving of the sizes on the sockets I have from Kobalt (Lowes). Much darker & easier to read. But not as black a dark as Cermark.
BTW, there is a brand of Dry Moly Lube that’s actually wet. One of my students kept having problems and he finally brought it in to do the project in front of me and we found it was not the same thing as I was using That’s why I always suggest checking that it’s the dry kind.
It’s worse than British English differences - here we’re talking the exact same words about the exact same stuff but some manufacturer changes the meaning of dry
I have seen some discussion of washing off excess cermark using alcohol or water (a debate apparently exists on which is better and/or which should never be used) letting the wash liquid evaporate, and harvesting the powder that is left over.
here is one such discussion:
(disclaimer: i have no personal experience doing this)
Hmmm… Everything I’ve seen says this stuff stays forever… just as good as an engrave, they say. I’ll be buying some at some point soon. I’ll give it a try and be sure to post the results here.
Does it not leave a weird/greasy residue? I’m unfamiliar with this. And you just leave the dry lubricant on after, or just during lasering?
Edit: I saw your post explaining more about the dry moly lube after I posted.
It’s like a laser printer (one that prints on paper) - it fuses the moly to the material. The rest is washed off.
Same as Cermark/Thermark. Except color density.
I understand now. Thanks for explaining.
I want to try curing powdercoat with it, I suspect very low power, at a slow speed, maybe refocused. Things I can’t do with my current laser.
an actual printing application!!
I have worked with both moly and theramark. The durability is similar, however, the “engraving” is much lighter and is a much slower process for good contrast with spray moly lube. If you calculate laser tube life and turnaround on your project theramark is the obvious winner. More expensive but way more efficient and better quality by far. If you want to just play around and experiment then go with moly. I use both. Moly to proof my product and theramark for the real deal.