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Engraving acrylic painted enclosures

Hi guys! I'm new here and I'm anticipating my own A3 sized Emblaser, which I will use for my business. What do I do? I make guitar pedals and it's something I've done for almost four years now. It took time and a lot of work to get where I am now but I make a living from it and one of the main processes in making my products is laser engraving.
I haven't been able to afford a Co2 laser but I found this and it looks like it'll work perfectly for what I do.
I've been using an Epilog Mini Helix 24 for more than a year and half now but it's through a local FabLab which I have great access to but it's far away and prohibits me from being able to produce at a steady rate. I'm also not able to handle quick tasks if I get any.

Anyways, I'm getting to the point of the thread. My method of applying artwork is to sandblast the metal enclosures, spray two layers of any colour and then two to three layers of another colour on top. I use the laser to engrave through the top colour, exposing the layer underneath as the artwork. It's taken me some time to perfect it and it works great now as the paint is rock solid and the artwork super sharp. I'll attach photos below.

I was wondering if anyone has experimented with anything similar to what I'm doing, using the Emblaser?

Comments

  • I can't seem to attach any photo, even though the window shows up to do so.

    Please go to www.pedalprojects.com to see lots of high quality photos which show you my work. There are some hand painted ones but they're clearly labelled.
  • So you want to engrave a art piece onto acrylic? You'd have to paint your main color first, then laser etch the art onto it, then paint again. Lase the sections of paint you want a different color, paint again.

    I've had success burning the paint off and not frosting the acrylic. You just have to have the speed right. Also extruded acrylic doesn't frost much so maybe your paint lines would be best on that if you don't want the frost and just want the glossy look of paint under the acrylic.

    You'd just have to work backwards from your aluminum projects since the visible layer is the first layer you put down and the last layer is the last section you laser.

    I don't know if you can burn through multiple layers at one time. You probably don't want to do that as you'll have to repaint anyway.

    I mean... I guess you could burn through the clear acrylic and burn the paint that way but it would most likely melt the acrylic as the hot gas has nowhere to escape which leads to a unwanted stain on the acrylic
  • I think you may have misunderstood what I meant, or I wasn't clear enough.

    So I have these aluminium enclosures that I've sandblasted. I then spray them with acrylic paint (just normal spray cans) and the layers aren't thick at all.

    So in short, I'm talking about engraving into acrylic paint on a metallic enclosure. The layers are thin so I don't see why there should be any problems with it.

    I think the laser may arrive today so I'll post progress here once I get it!
  • Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 18.59.46
    I got the laser yesterday, put it together and tested this morning. I tried my method and it works great!

    Alignment wasn't my priority as I just put the image somewhere quickly to try it out. I just wanted to see if it worked or not.

    For a first try, the results are great but I may need to adjust the settings to get a slightly sharper outcome. I have very high hopes for this!
  • Great results!
  • Oh yeah for a first try, I got better results than I hoped for. I will be experimenting with different settings soon to find the optimal one for the task. Once I've done that, I'm good to go!
  • Pedal Projects,

    What kind of paint are you using in your project?
  • I am trying to figure out why my paint isnt being removed at 50mm/min at 100% power
  • Hi Justin,

    Can you confirm your feed-rate is 50mm/min and not 50mm/sec?
  • I have triple checked.
  • Can you give us an idea of they type of paint you are using?

    Does the machine work normally on other materials?

  • I have used different spray paints from krylon camo flat to krylon high gloss. I am wondering if its a paint issue also. I also am having a weird issue with trying to engraved anodized metal I have. It does the engraving that is white but easily rubbed off, and when its rubbed off you can see a dull engravement underneath.
  • Thanks Pedal Projects. I've not tried anything like this but it has provided some inspiration - thank you!
  • Anymore info?
  • Justin,

    A good way to determine if your laser is focused and working is to try and cut a sheet of plain white copy paper.

    It should cut at 100% power and 1800-2000mm/min.

    This will at least determine if everything is functioning as it should.
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