Thread: My Machine

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  1. #51
    Michael, that's fantastic information. Many many thanks.

    I'm now going to ask loads of really obscure questions that are difficult to answer definitively...

    Does the laser always leave a black mark, or does that depend on the material?
    Is the colour of the material important? Is it generally only dark colours that are marked?
    Can you burn lines with the laser? Your baby image - which is really impressive - looks as if it was created with a series of dots. Was that just the way the image was converted to gcode?

    If it can draw lines, how fast? 5mm per minute? 100?

    Okay, enough going around the houses. This is what I'm thinking about:
    I use my machine to drill and cut some simple PCBs for my brother - glass fibre 'FR4' board. Seeing as the sheets are mounted on the machine already, I'm thinking that a laser might be able to label the boards and save an awkward screen-printing stage.

    Do you think it's worth a punt?
    Or is the laser quite picky about the material it will mark?
    (I'm tight as nuts, and although these kits are only about 30 at the moment, every hobby penny counts!)

    Cheers,
    Keith.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by korky View Post
    Michael, that's fantastic information. Many many thanks.

    I'm now going to ask loads of really obscure questions that are difficult to answer definitively...

    Does the laser always leave a black mark, or does that depend on the material?
    Is the colour of the material important? Is it generally only dark colours that are marked?
    Can you burn lines with the laser? Your baby image - which is really impressive - looks as if it was created with a series of dots. Was that just the way the image was converted to gcode?

    If it can draw lines, how fast? 5mm per minute? 100?

    Okay, enough going around the houses. This is what I'm thinking about:
    I use my machine to drill and cut some simple PCBs for my brother - glass fibre 'FR4' board. Seeing as the sheets are mounted on the machine already, I'm thinking that a laser might be able to label the boards and save an awkward screen-printing stage.

    Do you think it's worth a punt?
    Or is the laser quite picky about the material it will mark?
    (I'm tight as nuts, and although these kits are only about 30 at the moment, every hobby penny counts!)

    Cheers,
    Keith.
    okay.............
    The laser leaves a burnt mark, Darker usually dark brown or black depending on material.

    Colour makes all the difference. Eg; That bit of wood was actually lighter than it looks in the photo It burnt well, The red plastic handle of my screwdriver is not effected by the laser at all.

    Can it do lines???
    Well it can do anything your machine can, If you want to raster engrave this is how its done. You cant adjust the laser power as it wont have enough power at less than 180mw or so. So you make the image out of a series of dots spaced closer for darker and further for lighter.

    In a paint package convert a photo to 1 bit black and white using error diffusion and you'll see what I mean.

    If your engraving is vector based then use any cad software to create your g-code, I then wrote a script to swap Z- moves for "laser on" and Z+ moves for "laser off" (if that makes sense?)

    Mach has a setting for 2.5d Z axis which turns an output on when Z is down and so on, This may work I have not tried it for other reasons.

    Will it mark glass fibre 'FR4' board?

    No it will not unless you apply something else to the board first, there is a spray called CerMark which does work with DVD diodes (though they claim nothing below 10 watts) but maybe not on glass fibre board, I once got a guy to paint his copper clad board with matt black spray paint and then used the laser to remove the paint (same as routing isolation) to develop PCB's.

    Michael Duffin.
    Last edited by michael; 02-06-2009 at 06:44 PM.

  3. #53
    Michael,

    On another note altogether I have taken a leaf out of your book and put a picture of myself on my avatar...

    Its good to put a face to a name.

    Speak to you later.

    Steve.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by HiltonSteve View Post
    Michael,

    On another note altogether I have taken a leaf out of your book and put a picture of myself on my avatar...

    Its good to put a face to a name.

    Speak to you later.

    Steve.
    Didn't know you smoked

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