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Laser Etching Makers Mark

Discussion in 'Making Your Mark' started by Scott Kozub, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. Scott Kozub

    Scott Kozub Active Member

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    So we discussed this in another thread but I figured I start a dedicated thread.

    I recently purchased a 3018 cnc laser/router from Amazon for putting on my makers Mark. It's only a 3w laser so it's nowhere near powerfull enough the etch steel. What you can do is paint the blade with dry moly lube and then etch that. It's supposed to leave a durable grey mark.

    What I'm doing is to coat the section with nail polish. Once etched, water will remove the etched portion leaving the rest as a resist. You can now electro chemically etch the logo. The etching seems to be extremely precise only etching where the laser hit.

    I've been testing with a 25mm by 12mm logo. The settings that seem to be working are:
    10 lines per mm
    % laser
    150 mm/ min

    This looks good to the eye. If you want more detail you can increase the lines per mm. I tried 5 but it was too jagged.

    There's multiple advantages over uv stencils.

    First is I hated making them. Especially peeling off the plastic. I didnt want to order them because I use multiple metals and like to do custom etches. I put the metal type in my logo.

    Second its really easy to do a custom logo. You can etch any jpg, but. Etc. I just did a knife from a video game where the customer wanted the logo on the blade.

    Third, if you burn the logo in the nail polish you can make sure it's the size and position you want. If not simply reapply the nail polish and reburn before etching.

    This unit also came with a router. I hope to eventually do some relief carvings on handles or sayas. That's more advanced though.

    I'll keep putting up settings that work.
    Griff likes this.
  2. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Very interesting Scott, lots of makers, new ones in particular search this topic (I know I did before going the vinyl cutter / personalizer plus route) ...now of course I use my mosaic logo pins as my makers mark.

    Always good to have options!
  3. Scott Kozub

    Scott Kozub Active Member

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    To try to test the laser out I did some test etches with nail polish on I believe 304 ss which doesn't react the best to etching. I did etches at 5 lines per mm and 10 lines per mm. You can see the pixelated nature of the one etch. Most important is how defined it is. The laser was very accurate at burning the nail polish and the nail polish kept the etching to only where the laser hit.

    I also did a couple flags at 2mm tall. Imagine etching the spine of a thin knife say .1". Some fidelity is lost when looking through a microscope but the tips of the maple leaf would be extremely small at that size. Seems to be way more accurate than uv stencils.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
    dancom likes this.
  4. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Legend Member

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    I like the idea of being able to etch anything you want on the fly.

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