Old 06-07-2009, 02:56 AM #1
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Default Laser engraving

I do allot of hobby work and one of my hobbies is knife making. I would like to know what woudl be needed to build a set up capable of engraving my logo and and the knifes name on the blade. I have seen machines that do this but I don't wanna buy one as the cost is up there. I woudl however like to be able to build myself one. Any body got any ideas or a direction to point me in?


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Old 06-07-2009, 03:30 AM #2
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you would need a co2 laser, an automated table that has moveable x,y axis. the z axis can be manual. you would need a circuit capable of communicating with software on your computer.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:02 AM #3
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Not really easy, you better buy one before you start messing with more complex gass laser and scanner systems. It's not very easy to build. But you can give it a try.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:06 PM #4
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Engraving on the blade will take a pretty large amount of power. Also if you want to engrave it all nice like then you'll need a system like what chip described.

I engraved my name in my leather wallet with one of my lasers although it's by no means a "pretty" engraving. It looks nice, but you can still tell that the lines are not straight and precise.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:29 PM #5
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How did you do it? With a red 200mW focused and template?
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:13 AM #6
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They can be had for under 2 grand. If that's too much, you're in the wrong hobby.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:27 AM #7
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Yeah I think I did it with my open can red laser which is somewhere around that power. However, I didn't use a template, I just kinda used it like a pen. I made the focal point really close to the aperture (about 1.5 to 2 inches away). I then would just move the laser towards my wallet till it started burning, write out the letter, then pull away. I just did that for my whole name. It is kinda squiggly, but it looks cool!
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:51 AM #8
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Did the same thing on my TV remote control; well it's missing two letters.

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Old 06-10-2009, 06:44 AM #9
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Haha Ive done that all the time with my PHR to such as wood etc...
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:17 PM #10
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I have a cnc milling machine and was thinking I shoudl be able to make a jig to hold the laser in the chuck a laser collet as it where. I have the software already to take care of the movement and with it being fully able to regulate the travel speed depending on the laser itself then it should "burn" nicely. I just need to find a laser that will write on steel. I have seen such a set up at a show but they wanted 20 grand for it and it was not nearly as flexible as my milling machine is. That said what woudl be the laser to use for this application? Also what woudl be the best way to do this as a diy project IE build as much of it myself as possible.

My red and blu ray laser can both burn on plastic and the blu ray can do wood as well. This is where I got the idea from a template for a cnc cut out for a friend on sheet copper. I ran the program at slow speed with the blu ray in the chuck on a piece of 1/4 inch plywood. It worked well but I only ran it for a couple of minutes so as not to overheat the diode but what it did do it did very well. Though I had to run the program at 1/20 the normal metal cutting speed to get it to make the lines visible and clear.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:37 AM #11
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You are better off using a chemical etch agent and stencil. Much cheaper, lasts forever, and it looks decent.
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:03 AM #12
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I have one already. Yes it works. That said I still want to build a laser that will do it. I think I would be able to give allot more detail with a laser. The ones I have seen for this purpose have the ability to "shade" to give depth to the engraving. With a chemical ( Mine uses a electrical wand ) and this is not a option.
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:26 AM #13
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Look up Diode_Virgin on this forum. He will have all your answers.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:07 AM #14
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hey travis, no offense man but a dead horse is being beaten here. you keep talking about the laser. and that is the easy part. you need to get a computer controlled x,y. axis table that can accept command from a software file. a co2 laser is the best bet. go to you tube and search for co2 laser engrave ipod. hope fully that will show you what you need. good luck man...
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:54 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
you need to get a computer controlled x,y. axis table that can accept command from a software file.
I guess you failed to read my post. I have that already. In fact I can control the x,y and z.

I got the Co2 response within the first few posts but will any one do? What exactly do I need. Power size and such are the answers I seek.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:18 PM #16
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Hey Travis,

since there seems to be a lot of people here telling you what you can't do without even reading your post about you having a CNC milling machine I'll give you a little info.

Basically the cheapest route would be with an IR laser, since visible lasers are unnecessary for an engraving machine. As far as I am aware you would require a 20 Watt laser, that would probably be easiest to get hold of in a C02 laser since they are normally high powered, I don't know if a C-mount laser comes in those kind of powers but the man to talk to about high powered IR lasers would be Billg, as he has a lot of high powered IR lasers.

I hope you get this all sorted out as it seems like a nice project, love to see some pictures when you get it all up and running.

Just as a quick note, running a C02 laser is not the same as a 5.2 or 9mm diode which can run off high powered batteries, it would require a constant power source and a large amount of cooling to keep it running well for engraving. It might be worth watching some videos and some Google searches to get some more in depth answers as I am by no means an expert

Goodluck.
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