To current GF users - can anyone demo Cermark?

Now that the user pool is growing to a meaningful size, has someone tested their GF on Stainless Steel (or other metals), maybe using Cermark or other marking assist product? I’m curious to see the outcome, understand the workflow, durability and get a grip on approximate cost/piece. Happy to send you a stainless steel sample to work with!

It’s high on the list of things I plan on doing, but my delivery date is in February - thanks in advance!

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interesting place to start. Cheap alternative to cermark

Search Cermark for other entries

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There’s two kinds of the stuff:

LMM6000 - for uncoated metals

LMM6060- for steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze and aluminum

For 25g, it says: Brushing 1:1 - 250 square inches, Spraying 2:1 - 500 square inches

I just got a bottle of the 6060 stuff. I’ll post when I get a chance to use it.

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Excellant, thanks!

Dying to see real results from a real GF owner using a real GF on real Stainless …or brass/aluminum.

I’ve tested mustard, and I’ve got dry moly lube to test soon, but have no Cermark, yet.

tested cermark 6000 on stainless and carbon steel… power full, speed 200-300 depending… marks well, works consistently

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https://community.glowforge.com/t/testing-metal-engraving-with-enduramark/12118 is my one-off test of Enduramark. I haven’t had occasion to use it for anything practical but I was quite happy with the results.

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Good test, thanks for the link. Looks like the primary variable is the power level - speed and coating thickness much less so, if any.

The ‘ballooning’ of the text in the top examples looks like an over-exposure, probably doesn’t contribute to added durability.

Also, I think spraying would be a waste of material - the foam brush approach would put the material only where you are marking - agree? Does it wash off easy?

Note: Enduramark is $179 / 500g, Cermark is $225 / 500 g for the probably the same result.

That was my experience, though the manufacturer goes out of their way to hammer the point that coating thickness and uniformity is very important. Instructions: https://help.enduramark.com/support/solutions/articles/29000008029-how-to-apply-enduramark

I followed the recommendations to use the Preval sprayer. I was concerned about washing it off but it rinses right off under running water. No problems there.

That was part of the reason I got it, although I would have preferred a pre-mixed spray can. I’m a minimum-hassle kind of person, and just having to buy, mix, and store denatured alcohol kept me from trying this stuff for several weeks. The main reason, though, was that I could simply order it from their web site. I had trouble finding Cermark because I made the mistake of starting on their site and searching for distributors in my area, which wasted an afternoon and produced no place I could actually buy from. Afterward, someone clued me in to Johnson Plastics.

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Cermark also makes a tape version. For our application, it would be faster and more reliable to use a small piece of carefully placed tape v.s. spraying an entire part - no uniformity issues, minimum clean up, minimum waste, predictable cost per mark (simple logo = ~$.08 each).

Like any consumable producer (like P&G), I’m sure they’re ok if you use MORE then necessary - and in your example, 500X more by spraying the whole area!

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Now that sounds like something I’d use! Where can you get it?

I’ve looked at the tape, but man is it expensive!

You can google it and it’s listed on Cermark’s site, but I found it for sale here:

http://etsy.me/2h7BwUw

Expensive per roll, but maybe more controllable - need to test it to find out… on February 22 when my machine arrives!

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Interesting distinction, from Cermark’s FAQ:

"Laser Bonding versus Direct Laser Marking

Historically, instrument makers have used laser engravers such as YAG or fiber laser based systems to produce black direct marks by heating (annealing) the metal. The settings for this process can be very sensitive and if not done properly can lead to corrosion (rust) of the mark. The CerMark laser bonded mark can be achieved using a lower cost CO2 laser and will offer better protection against corrosion, UV and abrasion than many direct marks."

For our Tuls line, we currently send them out to have them ‘laser marked’. It costs us about $1-ish/piece, depending on complexity. Using Cermark’s 4" tape @ $390/50’ roll, it would cost about $1.60 on the GF… good for prototyping or for small batches that time-constrained, but not a volume production solution, unfortunately.

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I’ve done a little bit with cermark. I had a hard time taking photos of these and have very little extra time this morning. Unfortunately, the really successful attempts left the shop before being photographed, but I emailed and asked them to send me a photo, so I’ll post when I get it.

These results are with a cheap dog tag which says it’s stainless, but I have my doubts about the composition of the metal and it may be interfering with the results.

The first two attempts are the bees and they were done without anything at all. Just put in the laser at full power and relatively slow speed. The larger bee was run with one pass and as you can see has some areas that are dark and some that are lighter. The smaller bee was run twice and is a little out of focus, so there must have been some very slight shift. The color is great on it though.

I purchased Cermark to try to get more consistent color, but it marks well without it. The Point Remove logo was done with cermark but at a very low resolution (lines per inch) and did not turn out well.

The really good ones looked great and are gone.

TL:DR - Cermark works, but it sometimes works with nothing also. And Lines per inch really matters.

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Those look pretty good by themselves. The out of alignment/focus issue on the second pass may also be exacerbated with some ballooning/over-exposure.

Good to know that it’s possible to get a mark direct without any intermediary materials…

The tail of the two pass bee didn’t fully mark. Everything else did. I think it just depends on the composition of the metal which is unpredictable. In that regard, cermark (or some similar medium) really is kind of necessary if you’re using blanks because there’s no way to know if it will mark entirely without leaving a light colored spot. The lighter color spots really show up on the larger bee, which I assume is random differences in the metal.

Cermark is a product we used everyday at my old job(was there for 2 years). It can be a bit finnicky, and writing down the settings is a very good idea. I learned to test the etch before removing, and if it seemed like the design didn’t stick, you can spray a little bit more on and laser away again.
I have a spray can waiting to get some usage :sunglasses: Exciting!

Did you ever used the Cermark tape?

Like anything with volume production, you’re going to want to find a way to reduce costs - which generally means not buying at retail pricing.