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Anyone using a laser to make electrodes?

RJT

Titanium
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
greensboro,northcarolina
We are making some really fine details with .005 end mills in graphite using a 50K RPM turbine in a CNC mill. It works, but is slow. Only need to go .015 - .02 deep , some of it is lettering , some of it logos. Anyone have any experience with it? No idea what kind of cost is involved. Engraving in steel is done all the time, but graphite?
 

SteveEx30

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Location
CANADA
Yes laser graphite no problem at all. I've had emblems laser cut into Poco 3.

Result is very nice, but its not cheap. I will always try to cut if possible, usually. 010" cutters is about as small as I will go.
 

wdevine

Aluminum
Joined
May 17, 2010
Location
Massachusetts
My last job we had a 20w laser engraver we mostly used for cavity ids and part identification. On more than one occasion though we did engrave electrodes for local mold shops, it generally came out looking good. Took a couple hours generally.
 

jyd12f

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 3, 2014
Location
MN
Laser Graphite


From EDM Today Article on Laser Marking:
Since this article wouldn’t necessarily fit well in EDM Today without an EDM reference there is also a very cool application all you EDM guys will appreciate! Fiber lasers are incredibly efficient at removing graphite in very high detail. If you have ever had a small logo, part number, or design that need to be sinker EDM’ed, say into a mold cavity. You know how difficult and time consuming it can be to try and machine the graphite electrodes. Using a modified burn setting these machines can easily engrave high detailed logos and text into your sinker electrodes. Because the graphite burns away easily and quickly this process can be done in minutes at extremely low cost on a laser vs. hours of machining with expensive cutters on a milling center. Once you’re done milling or engraving the electrode, switch over to an anneal mark and you can also mark on the graphite surface! (Picture 4)
 

StlVern

Plastic
Joined
May 5, 2021
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
I just did a job engraving parts in graphite for a research project using a 100w fiber laser. Some of the features got down to .005 wide, but most were over .010 wide while hitting multiple depths up to .025. The unfortunate thing with the fiber laser is the deeper you go, the more taper you get. At least with the limited amount of testing I was able to do with a short lead time. Given more time, I probably would have been able to figure something out either with different lenses or a new machine. graphite test.jpg
 

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