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  1. #1
    rmuk's Avatar
    Lives in dodford, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 13-11-2020 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 5.
    Hey everyone!

    So, I wanted to try engraving on some small bits of silver... (It's a jewellery'ish sized product idea...) but those darn desktop engraving machines are so freakin expensive! So, thought get a cheapy cnc and try that! As a newb - and technical dimwit - I actually got the Genimitsu 3018 Prover, got it working and made some cuts, yay! Using small v bits (30 degree 0.3 tip) and Easel software I'm doing ok BUT engraving text still isn't coming out as nice as I'd like... ANY tips, guidance, advice on engraving? I can't believe this machine can't do half decent engraving as long as I have the right bit, settings etc.

    p.s. before the above I actually got half decent results with a Cricut Maker and the ONLY reason I upgraded to the 3018 was because the Cricut only uses a drag engraver and I wanted slightly deeper, more professional looking engraving and thought a rotary cutter would do that.

    I know this forum may not be the place for such amateurish questions and toy machines but I'm not sure where else to try.

    Thanks all! Stay safe!

  2. #2
    I have had modest success using the 20 degree engraving cutters that can be had on a well known auction site quite cheaply (if you wait for them to get from China to Europe).I also used engraving cutters for routers that go to a sharp point with 60 degree,90 degree or 120 degree tips.I didn't try easel as I found the free F-engrave unbelievably good.You might like to see if it will work with your intended project.If you haven't already tried it,Camotics for simulation can give you an insight into what will be coming off the machine.

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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rmuk View Post

    I know this forum may not be the place for such amateurish questions and toy machines but I'm not sure where else to try.
    Nope. I'd say you're in exactly the right place to get help producing precision work of any size. Sadly I'm not the person capable of providing it on this occasion
    An optimist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says the glass is half empty, an engineer says you're using the wrong sized glass.

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  6. #4
    Doddy's Avatar
    Lives in Preston, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 18 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 1,348. Received thanks 187 times, giving thanks to others 66 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Start with a more forgiving material to begin with to get used to the machine - a bit of brass would work well. Dial that in to understand what your machine can do (and there are limits that it will achieve with backlash and rigidity inherent in the build of the machine). If you can't engrave brass well enough then don't even go near silver. Another material to play with would be PCB blanks - SRBP - cheap if you can find it).

    You might want to look at the micro mill bits (google for end mills with e.g. 0.3mm diameter cutters). These offer the advantage that the cutting edges are parallel - rather than tapered - which means any variance in the height of the material, or movement in the spindle height (flex in the machine, flex in the bed, material thickness) will be less pronounced than using a tapered engraving bit. Watch out though - the bits aren't cheap (~10 each) and will snap if you so much as look at them).

    Be realistic.

    From a 5 minute read silver sounds horrible to machine.

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  8. #5
    Sorry to be so blunt but theirs no way to make it less painful so I'll just rip the plaster off.!! . . These machines are barely good enough to scratch let alone engrave with any precision or accuracy so don't waste time or expensive materials trying is my advise.

    You have got ZERO chance of engraving anything very well with only 10,000rpm and virtually Zero chance of doing metals like Silver. You need at least 30,000rpm and Idealy 60 to 80K rpm to do the job correctly with such tiny cutters.

    This is the reason why the REAL things cost so much money because low Run-out and ridgidty are key to engraving quality and this cost's.!
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

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  10. #6
    rmuk's Avatar
    Lives in dodford, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 13-11-2020 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 5.
    Quote Originally Posted by routerdriver View Post
    I have had modest success using the 20 degree engraving cutters that can be had on a well known auction site quite cheaply (if you wait for them to get from China to Europe).I also used engraving cutters for routers that go to a sharp point with 60 degree,90 degree or 120 degree tips.I didn't try easel as I found the free F-engrave unbelievably good.You might like to see if it will work with your intended project.If you haven't already tried it,Camotics for simulation can give you an insight into what will be coming off the machine.
    Thanks for the info, much appreciated! :o)

  11. #7
    rmuk's Avatar
    Lives in dodford, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 13-11-2020 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 5.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doddy View Post
    Start with a more forgiving material to begin with to get used to the machine - a bit of brass would work well. Dial that in to understand what your machine can do (and there are limits that it will achieve with backlash and rigidity inherent in the build of the machine). If you can't engrave brass well enough then don't even go near silver. Another material to play with would be PCB blanks - SRBP - cheap if you can find it).

    You might want to look at the micro mill bits (google for end mills with e.g. 0.3mm diameter cutters). These offer the advantage that the cutting edges are parallel - rather than tapered - which means any variance in the height of the material, or movement in the spindle height (flex in the machine, flex in the bed, material thickness) will be less pronounced than using a tapered engraving bit. Watch out though - the bits aren't cheap (~10 each) and will snap if you so much as look at them).

    Be realistic.

    From a 5 minute read silver sounds horrible to machine.
    Thanks for info :o)

    I've been practicing on ally and managed to get some half decent results but not good enough yet... Been using carbide v bits 30 degree x 0.3 and 60 degree 0.2. Had some v bits that came with the machine and these did ok on some carbon fibre I tried but blunted really fast on ally... The carbide ones are more robust for sure and I've managed to cut ally. Only using v bits because I want to do quite small fonts (5mm high) and I'd need a 0.1 end mill to do that the software tells me... and even though I have very limited micro drilling experience I just think there's NO WAY that wont break on the first go! BUT the v bits aren't cutting as clean as I'd hoped... :o(

    I guess I was hopeful simple engraving could be done after seeing this video... https://youtu.be/QuM6Ic1Cxok I realise the Nomad is a MUCH better machine but he's using a v bit and only 10k rpm on Silver. He gets a pretty nice cut on the harder silver.

  12. #8
    rmuk's Avatar
    Lives in dodford, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 13-11-2020 Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 5.
    Quote Originally Posted by JAZZCNC View Post
    Sorry to be so blunt but theirs no way to make it less painful so I'll just rip the plaster off.!! . . These machines are barely good enough to scratch let alone engrave with any precision or accuracy so don't waste time or expensive materials trying is my advise.

    You have got ZERO chance of engraving anything very well with only 10,000rpm and virtually Zero chance of doing metals like Silver. You need at least 30,000rpm and Idealy 60 to 80K rpm to do the job correctly with such tiny cutters.

    This is the reason why the REAL things cost so much money because low Run-out and ridgidty are key to engraving quality and this cost's.!
    Thanks Jazz appreciate the guidance. I guess after I got an almost acceptable drag engraving with the Cricut I thought I should get at least the same quality result with the more robust (compared to the Cricut anyway!) 3018 cnc and some simple cutter rotation you know, to go a teensy bit deeper? https://youtu.be/QuM6Ic1Cxok This video as I mentioned above kinda gave me hope that 10k rpm might do it. False hope probs... darn.

  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rmuk View Post
    Thanks Jazz appreciate the guidance. I guess after I got an almost acceptable drag engraving with the Cricut I thought I should get at least the same quality result with the more robust (compared to the Cricut anyway!) 3018 cnc and some simple cutter rotation you know, to go a teensy bit deeper? https://youtu.be/QuM6Ic1Cxok This video as I mentioned above kinda gave me hope that 10k rpm might do it. False hope probs... darn.
    Yes, I see these videos all the time showing weak machines cutting hard or difficult materials, and while they do cut theirs a big difference between rubbing and cutting. I could fasten a black n decker drill to any machine and cut thru 1" thick steel plate given enough time but that doesn't mean it's cutting correctly or it will do it twice or the part comes out the size or shape it's meant to be.
    For instance look at the shitty finish it left and poor definition of the lines, it didn't cut as much as rub the material away. He blamed the material for being soft but with more RPM less runout and a stiffer machine, it would be a different story because he could cut faster and get a much nicer finish because the tool is being used like it's meant to be.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

    Email: dean@jazzcnc.co.uk

    Web site: www.jazzcnc.co.uk

  14. #10
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    i was able to engrave some nice fine detail on my 3020 Omio CNC, as you can see its nowhere near perfect but definitely usable for hot foil stamping. Im afraid the 3018 are far less rigid than even the entry level machine I have.
    CNC: OMIO X4 800L
    HG15+20 Linear Guide Rails
    1605 Ball screws
    0.8kW Air-cooled spindle

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