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Thread: Just got a laser engraver/cutter at work.

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by killadoob View Post
    Start an engraving business. Big money in it. Promotional engraving is big business.
    lol, we bought it to go along with our cnc machines. Also got a metal marker.

    We already do plenty engraving and cutting with the cnc's, this will be taking a load off them but I have an idea it may not be used to it's fullest extent (mainly the person that is supposed to use it that is a little stuck in his ways).

  2. #17

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    Aha, this seems to be the right thread and crowd. Where can I source the Mylar sheets from? It needs to be fairly rigid, the more rigid the better, transparent preferably, with a thickness of about .25-.3mm. I need the Mylar sheets to be laser cut to a specific pattern.

    I also with it need a stainless steel sheet about 0.4mm to be laser cut to a pattern, must be as rigid as possible. Altogether they work as a machine part, two of the Mylar sheet patterns and the backing plate on top of each other. The total thickness all together should be less than 1mm.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by wily me; 23-02-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madman88 View Post
    I had two of these! Loved it.

    There is a kind of superwood called Trupan that the laser cuts like a dream! I used to make anything from doll houses/furniture to in-trays out of the stuff. Its quite hard to get hold of tho. I actually still have a load lying in my garage waiting for the day I buy another one.
    I can still get a 1200 x 900 80w for about $5500 landed.

    Just a few tips:

    1. Like a car engine it is never meant to be run at 100% power. I never took mine above 80% power except on rare occasions.
    2. Take a compressor and GENTLY blow the mirrors off once a day. It will extend the time in between cleaning from weeks to months.
    3. If you are engraving a tough material like marble, use the compressor to blow the crap away from the tip of the laser. It gives you a cleaner finish.
    4. If you are making rubber stamps, always use the one that costs slightly more. The cheap one stinks so bad its not worth the saving.
    5. Get your stamp supplies from Colop. RSE are a bunch of idiots. Unless you bought your laser from them, then you been screwed out of R150K
    6. ALWAYS take the plastic coating off of perspex when you are cutting. ESPECIALLY 10mm thick or more. Even 5mm actually. The plastic coating burns with a clear flame that you cannot easly see, especially if its on the underside of the material. It just keeps getting hotter and hotter until WHOOSH! I basically toasted my 600 x 900 like that Had to rebuild from the ground up. I have a pic of it somewhere I will see if I can find it.
    7. The laser cuts on the line, so if you have two pieces that have to fit together snugly, remember to compensate for the width of the cut. The slower/more power you use the wider the cut. This is especially pronounced when it comes to PPX.

    Damn... I can go on and on but its bed time for me if you need any info on anything specific feel free to PM me.
    Thanks for the advice Will get some trupen. We paid about $6000 for this one, including some extra laser tubes, mirrors, motor controllers and other spares.
    Smell is not an issue as we have a very large extractor fan on it (similar to the ones used for jumping castles) that helps keep the material in place and sucks all the smoke out into the back alley of the factory.
    The machine has safety switches on the cover, the laser turns off (but the head keeps moving) if you try open the cover during running, mainly for alignment and testing before actually cutting.

    Not sure if we will make stamps but since you brought it up I'll keep it in mind

  4. #19

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    Any place I can download some funky vectors for the machine anyone knows about?

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by AstroTurf View Post
    Any place I can download some funky vectors for the machine anyone knows about?
    Epilog Laser has a sample club http://www.epiloglaser.com/sample_club.htm
    Have a look at it. Also check http://www.sawmillcreek.org/

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by wily me View Post
    Where can I source the Mylar sheets from? It needs to be fairly rigid, the more rigid the better, transparent preferably, with a thickness of about .25-.3mm. I need the Mylar sheets to be laser cut to a specific pattern.

    I also with it need a stainless steel sheet about 0.4mm to be laser cut to a pattern, must be as rigid as possible. Altogether they work as a machine part, two of the Mylar sheet patterns and the backing plate on top of each other. The total thickness all together should be less than 1mm.

    Thanks in advance.
    For Mylar you we use PETg we can't get the Mylar in small quantities, on the stainless steel you have to go to the steel processing shops we can't cut any metal we have a 50w co² laser. Maybe the guys with a more powerful laser can tell you if they cut stainless. Good luck it took months to find someone who stocked the PETg.
    Ianf1

  7. #22
    Super Grandmaster Madman88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianf1 View Post
    For Mylar you we use PETg we can't get the Mylar in small quantities, on the stainless steel you have to go to the steel processing shops we can't cut any metal we have a 50w co² laser. Maybe the guys with a more powerful laser can tell you if they cut stainless. Good luck it took months to find someone who stocked the PETg.
    Yea I had an 80w co² and it didnt even so much as mark Stainless without laser paste. To cut that youre going to have to go to someone with a BEEG laser. In joburg I used to use General Profiling.

    You can buy Mylar in 1m x 900mm sheets from AMS. As well as rowmark and all that kind of stuff.
    I am 13531

    "Balance is the key to everything, without it we would just keep falling over."

  8. #23

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    I think the C02 laser don't cut stainless steel. The yagi(not sure if I spelt it correctly) one does. But I'm not sure if it does stainless steel, but I saw one cutting a type of metal that a C02 wouldn't. to mark stainless you have to use the metal marking compound, its helps with the marking and also prevents the laser beam from reflecting back into the machine from the shiny metal surface.

    Some metals will be hard to mark as they have a clear coating on the top (certain stainless steel pens) you should use a very fine sandpaper on the engraved area and use your marking compound and it works brilliantly even on a 25w C02.

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madman88 View Post
    You can buy Mylar in 1m x 900mm sheets from AMS. As well as rowmark and all that kind of stuff.
    Is AMS Automated Marking Systems? We use the PETg for cake stencils which we get from sheet plastic. This is then food safe.
    Ianf1

  10. #25

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    I'd cut my sammich in half.
    For Pylo!

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerhzelok View Post
    I'd cut my sammich in half.
    Was thinking of using it as a darth vader toaster

  12. #27

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    Can those of you in CPT, please drop me a pm.
    I am looking to etch some skatedecks.
    Just price, limitations and locations please.

    Been looking for someone to do this for a while.
    Are you a local Artist? Then you could get showcased on The Given Collective Blog!
    http://blog.thegiven.co.za/?p=1506

  13. #28
    Super Grandmaster Madman88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianf1 View Post
    Is AMS Automated Marking Systems? We use the PETg for cake stencils which we get from sheet plastic. This is then food safe.
    Its Advanced Marking Systems. I used Mylar for food stencils.. Cake and cappuccino stencils. I never used PETg

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroTurf View Post
    Was thinking of using it as a darth vader toaster
    You can toast bread, it doesnt taste too good tho. It works better if you drop the bed by about 2mm so that the laser is slightly out of focus and has a wider beam

    This works better: Cut a stencil of whatever (out of Mylar or PETg), Put it over the bread and use a spray bottle to spray water onto the bread thru the stencil.
    Stick it into a normal toaster and when it comes out the area's you wet will be lighter than everywhere else. I did dinosaurs and fairies for my kids.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheGiven View Post
    Can those of you in CPT, please drop me a pm.
    I am looking to etch some skatedecks.
    Just price, limitations and locations please.

    Been looking for someone to do this for a while.
    Damn, engraving thru plywood looks so awesome. you will need to go right thru the layer to get the best effect tho. Then you can just put a thick layer of resin over the whole thing to fill the engraving, polish with an industrial polisher until you have a glass finish.

    Not sure if it will be usable tho.
    I am 13531

    "Balance is the key to everything, without it we would just keep falling over."

  14. #29

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    For board we use Novalite it has a nice colour for engraving, and cuts nicely and is flat. Who stocks Trupan in Jhb.
    Here is a Jewelry tree we cut from Novalite Link You can do a lot with a little the laser.
    Ianf1

  15. #30
    Super Grandmaster Madman88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianf1 View Post
    For board we use Novalite it has a nice colour for engraving, and cuts nicely and is flat. Who stocks Trupan in Jhb.
    Here is a Jewelry tree we cut from Novalite Link You can do a lot with a little the laser.
    Never used Novalite, but it looks just like Trupan to me. When I was on the hunt for the stuff the only place I could get it was in cape town. No one in JHB had stock.
    I ended up buying a whole butload of 3mm and 5mm sheets and shipping them up.

    Had a look at your link, are those acrylic necklaces for wearing? I would think the acrylic too brittle, especially where the letters join each other.
    Some nice stuff there tho. A suggestion for your fondant stamps (you could do the same thing for wax seals) is to have a negative of the stamp also available. So instead of having the letters recessed you would have them raised.
    This way you would avoid the lines on the background from the engraving. If you absolutely have to have the letters recessed, then cut them out of 2mm acrylic and engrave the letters out of another piece. then you use a little chloroform (or Tensol) to glue the letters into the engraved out spaces.

    I ended up making stuff like this on my router tho. you get a much better finish on the background that way. Still have the router in my garage .
    I am 13531

    "Balance is the key to everything, without it we would just keep falling over."

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