Settings for engraving anodized aluminum?

Just want to say thanks for your settings!

got me to this result

I find it nice but for sure I think I will keep playing to see if I can get smaller gaps in the image to show. I kind of tried many gaps and this one is the best but I wish I can have smaller ones.

anything you see that I could have improved? (yeah I could have left a bit more space on right side…) I think I will create a jig to hold and align my dog tags…

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Looks good to me. Did you make sure you had it on vary power verse dots?

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Most info I’ve seen about anodized aluminum says the higher the LPI, the cleaner the result and I’d give that a try. (Which isn’t true for a lot of material.)

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yes it was vary power, I guess the flash on the picture makes it look grainy, here is another shot

Any ways to make different “shades” or engraving on Alu will always be just plain gray?
not expecting super contrast but would be nice to play with shades

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In my experience with anodized aluminum, there is no variation - there either is or is not color. If you experiment and get a different result, please share.

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Yup. The coating is either bleached or it isn’t. If you want shades, it would need to be convert to dots to simulate shades. This works better for things that you look at from further away versus staring at 2” away.

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Has anyone here tried the Inventables anodized aluminum? About to give it a shot, but wonder if anyone has any cut settings recommendations?

I noticed tat Glowforge advertises that anodized aluminum can only be engraved, but I’m still curious as to whether anyone has tried to cut it? Or knows a reason why it’s a bad idea to try? Seems like if it fails to get all the way through, there good guidelines for cutting on another tool at least?

Thanks for all the helpful posts everyone! I really appreciate the resource this community provides.

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The GF does not have anywhere near enough power to make the slightest mark on bare metal. All you can do is burn (etch) away anodizing (which is just a surface dye) or mark with a coating. Even the term “engraving” is misleading when working on metal, no material is removed.

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Cannot cut aluminum with the Glowforge. I have good luck engraving anodized aluminum with 700/50/350, but you should test a small area since I don’t know how intricate your design is. I was engraving text. There are lots of posts about aluminum if you search the forum.

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Thanks for the help!

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I just did these settings on gloss black-coated brass from BF Plastics, the test looks great!

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Looks great

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Thanks! I was overwhelmed by all their products. Nice to know this works.

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There is no setting for proof grade for aluminum unless you purchase the premium upgrade?

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Proofgrade settings are for materials sold by Glowforge. They do not sell any aluminum items, thus there are no proofgrade settings. There are, however, lots of suggested settings provided by users.

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Any idea on what type of material could be used for engraving aluminum?

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Select “Uncertified material” then use the set focus tool for the material height.

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Has anyone engraved photos onto aluminum dog tags? Any helpful tips or tricks?

Welcome to the forum.
You will find that the search function is a very useful tool. There have been many discussions of anodized aluminum. Here are some:

https://community.glowforge.com/search?q=anodized%20aluminum

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I’ve ‘engraved’ many anodized aluminum dog tags but never with a photo. I would say testing will be your best bet.

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