Michael Tibes

Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:02:57 PM »
It might be old news, but I just bumped into this video: https://youtu.be/1hFNj86L7sk This machine looks pretty useful to me. I don't have the time to experiment with these things at the moment, but maybe it is interesting to anyone? Proper looking labeling has always been a time consuming issue for me, it would be great if this worked.

Michael


buildafriend

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 01:45:43 PM »
There are so many small cnc mil, laser, and router options today that it's hard to choose one

dirtyhanfri

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 03:17:10 AM »
I bought a 5W Laser engraver, and even considering it’s a toy, I’m quite happy with it.

It marks pcbs painted in black, engraves anodized aluminum... it’s nice, even more keeping in mind it cost me 200€.

Right now I’m finishing the manufacturing process of pcbs, which evolves a laser machine and a small cnc router. My idea is to make a thread about it during this month. It’s a bit complex, but I think it’s affordable for DIY and can give consistent results in a reasonable time.

Working on it...

warpie

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 04:12:44 AM »
My idea is to make a thread about it during this month. It’s a bit complex, but I think it’s affordable for DIY and can give consistent results in a reasonable time.

That'll be great!

gyraf

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 10:21:31 AM »
Very interested. Just recently discovered laser+anodized, want to try going there. Especially if 5W is enough!

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

ruffrecords

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 01:00:48 PM »
Very interested. Just recently discovered laser+anodized, want to try going there. Especially if 5W is enough!

Jakob E.

I am interested in that also. The video seems to show it only with black anodised aluminium. I wonder if it would work with plain anodised aluminium?  Seems to me you could use not only to engrave front panels but also to mark drilling centres and hole diameters.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Gold

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 01:06:20 PM »
Me too. I like mechanical engraving but having a box that fits on a desk top and is $1500. Is very attractive. I started out wanting a setup that could both mill and engrave. I’ve come to the conclusion that would be too large, too expensive and too time consuming to get going. With a laser engraver I could mark where the holes need to go and hand drill them. Mostly I need round holes for rotary switches.  Larger and more complex holes will be a problem but I don’t need those often.

[silent:arts]

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 01:44:58 PM »
I wonder if it would work with plain anodised aluminium?
The lasermarks on anodised aluminium are always white.
This is independent of the anodised color.
I use MarkSolid LMM 6018 tape for black on plain aluminium.
SSLtech: No bypass, I don't believe in it.
Gus: I think this build might have problems with DIY builders that don't know things like ohms law.

ruffrecords

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2017, 03:25:36 PM »
The lasermarks on anodised aluminium are always white.
This is independent of the anodised color.
I use MarkSolid LMM 6018 tape for black on plain aluminium.

I was thinking more of black absorbing the laser light and the plain perhaps reflecting more than absorbing.

heers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Michael Tibes

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2017, 04:22:01 PM »
I use MarkSolid LMM 6018 tape for black on plain aluminium.
Not cheap, but quite interesting. I'm curious where this is going...  :)

Michael


[silent:arts]

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2017, 04:38:11 PM »
I‘m quite happy with the results
(using a 50W CO2 laser)
https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=66411.msg847926#msg847926
SSLtech: No bypass, I don't believe in it.
Gus: I think this build might have problems with DIY builders that don't know things like ohms law.

ruffrecords

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 06:35:35 PM »
I‘m quite happy with the results
(using a 50W CO2 laser)
https://groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=66411.msg847926#msg847926

Do you really mean 50W??

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

[silent:arts]

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 02:41:42 AM »
Do you really mean 50W??
Yes. But for black anodized aluminium I only use 15% (Speed: 60mm/sec), for blank with MarkSolid tape 20%.
But as far as I know you can't compare the output of different laser types (CO2, Fiber, Nd:YAG) by wattage.
SSLtech: No bypass, I don't believe in it.
Gus: I think this build might have problems with DIY builders that don't know things like ohms law.

ruffrecords

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 03:29:46 AM »
Yes. But for black anodized aluminium I only use 15% (Speed: 60mm/sec), for blank with MarkSolid tape 20%.
But as far as I know you can't compare the output of different laser types (CO2, Fiber, Nd:YAG) by wattage.

Silly me, I missed that you have a CO2 laser so the efficiency will be different to a laser diode one. I am still not clear how you engrave plain anodised aluminium (not coloured). Do you engrave it directly or do you have to cover the surface with something?

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

[silent:arts]

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2017, 03:44:49 AM »
I can laser mark the plain anodised aluminium, but the marking will be white.
To get black on Metal there are different solutions available:
http://www.thermark.com/content/view/28/79/
I use LMM6018 tape. Just stick it on, laser it (I use a little more power), and remove the tape. Isopropanol helps removing sticking small parts.
Some people say it is expensive, but compared to silkscreening low quantities it is fine for me - and I can do custom panels.
SSLtech: No bypass, I don't believe in it.
Gus: I think this build might have problems with DIY builders that don't know things like ohms law.

gyraf

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 05:00:11 AM »
I‘m quite happy with the results

:-) Oh, you should be! That Gyraf 500-series module you made me is absolutely beautiful!

Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

ruffrecords

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2017, 08:00:28 AM »
I can laser mark the plain anodised aluminium, but the marking will be white.
To get black on Metal there are different solutions available:
http://www.thermark.com/content/view/28/79/
I use LMM6018 tape. Just stick it on, laser it (I use a little more power), and remove the tape. Isopropanol helps removing sticking small parts.
Some people say it is expensive, but compared to silkscreening low quantities it is fine for me - and I can do custom panels.
That looks to be rather clever stuff. The reason I am so interested is that I use a lot of Fischer modules in my build. Unfortunately you cannot buy them without front panels. I always need a custom front panel engraving  so I end up ordering from from Schaeffer and there is no cost advantage in shipping my blank front panels out to Germany so I get left with lots of plain aluminium front panels. So a low cost way to engrave those myself would be great even if only for prototypes.

I wonder if I could just get a laser to fit on my existing CNC machine?

Cheers

Ian
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 08:08:01 AM by ruffrecords »
www.customtubeconsoles.com
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Gold

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2017, 01:40:30 PM »
Do you laser mark the panel first and then mill it after by lining up a positioning mark on a CNC mill?

[silent:arts]

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2017, 01:51:40 PM »
I laser mark the pre drilled panels.
SSLtech: No bypass, I don't believe in it.
Gus: I think this build might have problems with DIY builders that don't know things like ohms law.

Gold

Re: Laser engraver for pcb making and frontpanel labeling
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 01:54:23 PM »
I laser mark the pre drilled panels.

How do you line up the panel so the marks are in the right place?