Mar 3 2016

Laser CNC Engraving Metal

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Laser CNC Engraving Metal

In the past #lasers and metals have not mixed very well. While a laser does produce high amounts of heat suitable for cutting or engraving it is still, at its core, light. Anyone who has ever walked through a full parking lot of shiny cars on a hot, sunny day without their sunglasses knows that metal reflects light very efficiently. Many individuals know that laser cutters traditionally do not work on metal and would not attempt any kind of metalworking project using a laser. However, there are multiple types of lasers and some do work well enough with metals for engraving projects.

CNC Laser Engraving Metal

CNC Laser metal cut

One of the first gas #laser invented was the CO2 laser and it is still one of the most common lasers used today. This type of lasers work on some metals but not all, as some metals reflect the laser beam too much for it to be effective on metal projects. One type of the metals that works well with a CO2 laser is anodized aluminum. Anodized aluminum comes in several different colors and you will observe different effects depending on what color the metal is. For example, black anodized aluminum turns white when engraving with a laser while red anodized aluminum turns light pink. You can intensify the color with a second pass and get a whiter sheen but you will usually not be able to completely remove the original color created by the initial cut. Anodized aluminum should be cut at low power, high speed setting in order to generate crisp, clean engravings. Using too much power can distort engravings and result in images that have been burned too much during the cutting process.

 CNC Laser Engraving Metal

CNC Laser cut

Painted brass is another metal that works well. Do not use unpainted brass with a CO2 laser; it will reflect the beam and you will likely get hurt. The laser will remove the coating from brass that has been painted, exposing the brass beneath for appealing visual effects. You can also use brass-coated steel. Like with painted brass, you will be removing paint to expose the brass beneath. Brass-coated steel just has a thin layer of brass over steel instead of being made from pure brass. The polished brass that you expose with your #laser is protected by the lacquer, preventing the brass from being oxidized and keeping it bright and shiny for many years. If you do not know whether your material is painted brass or brass-coated steel you can test it with a magnet. Magnets will stick to brass-coated steel but not to painted brass since solid brass does not have a sufficient magnetic field to attract and hold a magnet.
For other metals you can use an Yb: Fiber Laser, a fiber laser that uses the element ytterbium. Fiber lasers have several distinct advantages over more traditional lasers. The key component that makes them suitable for laser engraving is that the light used is already coupled into a flexible fiber, allowing it to be delivered to a movable focusing element easily. This is what makes it much more difficult for metal to reflect the beam, making this type of #laser safe to use with more types of metals. Fiber lasers also have a very high power output and can have active regions up to several kilometers in length. The fiber’s high surface area to volume ratio allows for continuous output at the kilowatt level, resulting in efficient cooling. Because fibers can be bent, unlike rod or gas lasers, they are usually very compact machines. The pulses that the lasers generate operate within nanoseconds, further making fiber lasers well-suited for metal engraving projects.


Feb 18 2016

Plastic mold making with a hobby router

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Plastic mold making with a hobby router

Creating a plastic mold is one in all the most effective strategies for prototyping. Creating a plastic mold is simple and knowing the way to create one are often terribly handy. Mistreatment everyday objects from around your home, you’ll build a plastic vacuum molder which will alter you to try and do something from creating a brand new toy for your child to making a custom case for your latest project. The idea behind a vacuum molder is easy. Mistreatment suction from a vacuum, liquid plastic sheets are a unit tightly adhered to the item you wish a mold of, effectively making a plastic copy of the item. Typically plastic vacuum molders area unit terribly giant and really dearly-won machines except for smaller comes this DIY molder can work simply fine.

Plastic mold project

Plastic mold CNC project

For this project you wish a high, a powerful airtight box, a home appliance and 2 frames. Your high is wherever you set the item you’re repeating and it’ll would like holes trained in it for suction. The holes should be trained so the suction is consistent over the whole area of the highest. Mistreatment associate degree airtight box helps maintain consistent suction. Once choosing a vacationing, you’ll use a standard home appliance, however a store vac can work higher since they need higher suction. The frames are wont to hold the sheets of plastic; a combine of image frames can work nicely. You may conjointly would like a cutting knife or razor and an electric drill with alittle bit (a ⅛” bit could be a sensible size to use).
Building little vacuum molder are often finished a plastic paste jar (or one thing similar, as long because it is plastic therefore you’ll cut it), a 2-liter bottle, some plastic wrap and adhesive tape. For alittle model like this a daily home appliance can work fine; a store vacation isn’t necessary. The lid of your paste jar is your high therefore drill holes in it in a very grid pattern to distribute the suction equally. once that’s done cut a hole within the aspect of the paste jar that’s simply sufficiently big for the tip of your 2-liter bottle to travel through. stop|bring to a halt|interrupt} the highest of the 2-liter bottle and place it through the outlet within the jar (the end of the tip ought to air the skin of the jar). currently plastic wrap the jar (but leave the bottle tip exposed) to create it airtight and place the lid on. aside from the holes within the lid and also the hole within the 2-liter bottle tip the whole molder should be airtight.

CNC plastic molder

plastic mold project

Now your vacuum molder is prepared to be used. ensure the entire object fits on the highest with holes round the edges. don’t use objects which will soften or deform beneath heat. don’t use objects that or too tall or the plastic can stretch an excessive amount of and tear. place your object on the space and place a spacer beneath it; this may create the model look higher. Connect the hose on your vacuum to the 2-liter bottle tip. Stretch out your plastic between your frames and warmth it. will|this will|this could|this may} be finished a heat gun otherwise you can hold the plastic over a burner (do not bit the burner with the plastic directly). don’t use a gas burner; the plastic can turn. Once the plastic starts to sag within the middle, it’s hot enough for the mold. Slowly stretch the plastic over the item and acquire a decent seal around it. The plastic must be as airtight as potential for max suction. Once this is often done activate the vacuum. when the plastic has wrapped round the object flip the vacuum off and hold it in situ till it hardens and provides it time to cool down. Once it’s cool take the frames off, cut away the surplus plastic and you have got your model.
This method works with little objects however you’ll build one thing larger. If you employ an outsized bin, a baking pan, an even bigger bottle and bigger image frames you’ll do that whole method on a bigger scale. you’d most likely would like a stronger vacuum for larger molders and you’ll got to seal off it rather than simply mistreatment adhesive tape to stay everything airtight. you’ll purchase sheets of plastic on-line or probably regionally from a spread of suppliers. Along with your molder you’ll currently model expeditiously. Use some material like covering material rosin and you may have a particular copy of your object.the object turn the vacuum off and hold it in place until it hardens and give it time to cool. Once it is cool take the frames off, cut away the excess plastic and you have your model.
This process works with small objects but you can build something bigger. If you use a large trash can, a baking pan, a bigger soda bottle and larger picture frames you can do this whole process on a larger scale. You would probably need a stronger vacuum for bigger molders and you may need to caulk it instead of just using duct tape to keep everything airtight. You can purchase sheets of plastic online or possibly locally from a variety of suppliers. With your molder you can now prototype efficiently. Use some material like fiberglass resin and you will have an exact copy of your object.


Dec 9 2015

Halftone Pictures with a CNC Machine

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Halftone Pictures with a CNC Machine

Halftone Pictures with a CNC Machine

A halftone is a series of dots, usually shades of black and grey but sometimes in color, on a background. The dots are very small and from a distance make it look like solid color is present instead of a series of dots. This illusionary technique is used as a form of art to make pictures. Because this form of art basically just involves making a large number of holes on a solid piece of material it is a project that can be done on a CNC machine.

halftone Pictures cnc

halftone Pictures cnc

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Oct 19 2015

What is a CNC Lithophane and how is it made?

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What is a CNC Lithophane and how is it made?

            A lithophane is a 3D image that looks plain and dull in normal lighting. When light is applied to the back of a lithophane the engraved image becomes visible. These 3D images have a greater amount of detail and depth than what can be seen in a regular 2D image. The word lithophane is a Greek term that comes from combining lithos (“stone” or “rock”) and phainein (“to cause to appear”) and means “light in stone”. Continue reading


Sep 30 2015

CNC Guitar making with machines and hobby routers

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Creating a Guitar and cnc guitar making

One of the more complex tasks for a CNC router hobbyist is using their machine to create an instrument. In this article we will be going over how to do just that, specifically talking about making a guitar. First you should determine exactly what your machine is capable of. Your cutting area should be 600mm x 800mm in order to have enough size for making the neck. If you are a little short on room you might be able to use your diagonal length instead. Be sure to measure everything before you get too deep into other parts of the project. Continue reading