Suggested power/speed settings

Discussion on what materials you laser cut or engrave
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Gary Thompson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:10 am
Location: Belfast
Country: Northern Ireland
Nickname: Gary
Laser Machine Make or Type: Mantech
Laser Power: 60W
Laser Bed Size: 600 x 400
Home Position: TL
RDWorks Version: v8.01.16
Accessories: Rotary attachment
Windows Version: 10

Suggested power/speed settings

Post by Gary Thompson »

Has anyone tried engraving laserable drinking bottles? I've bought a few insulated drinking bottles made from high-grade 304 stainless steel with a coloured matt coating. They're quite expensive and I would prefer not losing any to sacrificial testing. Hopefully the first attempt will be close to perfect!

Anyone tried something similar? Can anyone point to suggested power/speed settings for a 60W machine for best engraving?
laserable-bottle_red2.jpg
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Gene Uselman
Posts: 1671
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:18 pm
Location: Suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Country: USA
Nickname: Gene
Laser Machine Make or Type: AKL1318-2
Laser Power: 130W & 80W Reci
Laser Bed Size: 51 x 71
Home Position: TR
Control Software: LIGHTBURN
RDWorks Version: RDw .19 & Lightburn
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Accessories: I have a combining lenses, pin tables [homebuilt], honeycomb tables , wireless remote, Modifed Ultimate Air Assist, home built non-powered rotary device, Prusa i3 MK3S and Mini Prusa printers.
Windows Version: Win 10 Pro

Re: Suggested power/speed settings

Post by Gene Uselman »

I feel your pain but each bottle/laser will be different- could you do a small test that will be overwritten by the real engraving?
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fred ungewitter
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:55 pm
Location: East Central FL, USA
Country: USA
Nickname: fred
Laser Machine Make or Type: Redsail Clone
Laser Power: 60W
Laser Bed Size: 500 x 700
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: 8.01.18
Accessories: Chuck style rotary, 30 ma meter, LightObjects CW5000 chiller, muffin fan anti-condensate blower, LightBurn software
Windows Version: Windows 7

Re: Suggested power/speed settings

Post by fred ungewitter »

I've done the yeti clones with various coatings from powdercoated versions to some that appear to have a rubberized spray on coating (and smells like it!)
What I've learned is to run hotter than you might consider. If you run lower power, you risk the chance of not getting the coating cleared away completely. In my system (chuck rotary), there's no perceptible backlash, so I'm able to run a second burn atop the first with no harm. Sometimes, there's residue after the first burn and you want a second one just to clear it away.

My machine is a true 60W tube and I can't recall the exact figures, but probably in the 35-40% range and about a hundred mm/second is where I'd start. Powdercoated tumblers are going to have less residue than the rubberized stuff.

On stainless steel, you'll get such a clean burn for lines (if the laser is properly focused) that it will show you quite quickly any alignment problems and/or backlash.

If you can, consider the suggestion of a test tumbler. Alternatively, wrap it in masking tape and perform minimum power burns to check alignment and placement. Perhaps more than one wrap to ensure you don't burn through the tape.
fred

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Gary Thompson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:10 am
Location: Belfast
Country: Northern Ireland
Nickname: Gary
Laser Machine Make or Type: Mantech
Laser Power: 60W
Laser Bed Size: 600 x 400
Home Position: TL
RDWorks Version: v8.01.16
Accessories: Rotary attachment
Windows Version: 10

Re: Suggested power/speed settings

Post by Gary Thompson »

Thanks guys. As usual on this forum you get replies that point you in the right direction and fire the synapses!

My rotary attachment is, to say the least, rudimentary so a second pass is not an option because of backlash. However, I remembered I'd some bits of powder coated aluminium lying about and thought I'd try a few trial runs on it (I've never laser engraved any metal before and thought that would be close for an incremental test).

Just as Fred said it really does run hotter than you think. I started at 15% power, 150mm/sec - barely scratched the surface. Ended up 44/46% power, 80mm/sec, 0.06 interval This is a 60W machine - probably true output closer to 50W. Not far off Fred's recollection of his settings. I'm extremely pleased with the results and will try to post a couple of pictures later. Trouble is everyone who has seen it now wants one!

If anyone is trying the same I'd suggest incremental trial runs are the way to start. The settings I've given are a guide. As Gene says different machines, different materials.
Gary Thompson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:10 am
Location: Belfast
Country: Northern Ireland
Nickname: Gary
Laser Machine Make or Type: Mantech
Laser Power: 60W
Laser Bed Size: 600 x 400
Home Position: TL
RDWorks Version: v8.01.16
Accessories: Rotary attachment
Windows Version: 10

Re: Suggested power/speed settings

Post by Gary Thompson »

Engraved Mug2.png
Engraved bottle2.png
I think they're much better than the pictures show. Also, redacted the names. GDPR and all that :)
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