Suggestions for Mini Laser Etcher under $1000???
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  1. #1
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    Default Suggestions for Mini Laser Etcher under $1000???

    Howdy, Folks:

    You people have always been so helpful to me in the past. I wondered if I could pick your brains once again.

    I make a small product out of Delrin and similar kinds of plastics. I am beginning to explore laser etching these plastics for product marking. I'm a total novice in this area, one could even say an idiot, but there is a community college nearby that teaches laser classes.

    I'm looking for something only for etching and laser engraving and NOT cutting. Also, I have no need for a large table, as our products are all less than two inches (2.0") across, so even a table 12" x 12" is more than I would ever need.

    Can I get into a non-horrible quality unit below $1000 max for this kind of application, or am I dreaming?

    I'm wide open at this point, so feel to post any relevant comments or suggestions.

    Thanks in advance for your expertise and the generosity of your time.

    EG

  2. #2
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    after buying a 1 watt laser engraver (the 6" plastic cube one that had 38 by 38mm travel for about $100) for burning a number on a circuit board.. which it did a few thousand of, we bought a certain 40 watt laser cutter that can be found for ~$400 on amazon with free shipping. at 10% power it can burn through the white epoxy that is on top of the solder mask, through to the circuit board fiberglass, leaving behind the black chared carbon. we then ultrasonically clean the circuit boards and sometimes that is sufficient to remove all of the carbon so we end up with green numbers on a white background. the resultant letter quality is probably as good as the text you're reading on an average computer monitor. anyhow no i haven't measured the power so i don't know if its actually delivering 4 watts or something else. also i don't think it goes below 10% power output, which may be too much for you but i don't know what you're trying to do.

  3. #3
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    Make sure that laser engraving is going to do what you want. Engraving Delrin by laser might give an entirely different appearance than you're looking for.

  4. #4
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    Delrin definitely has a bit more of a tendency to melt than say acrylic which just vaporizes. Why not get a non metal laser shop or a maker space to try out some parts and see if you can get the quality you want, then see if you can find an affordable solution.

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    Worth adding melt or vaporise all depends on the wavelength as much as it does power level and the material, what a co2 laser may just melt a far lower powered solid state laser will happily vaporize, you have to have a laser wave length that gets absorbed by the object to really couple that energy into the material well and vaporize it, other wise the energy penetrates, gets dissipated on a larger depth and just chars or melts. Get it really wrong and most your energy just bounces off or gets absorbed by the previously vaporized material.


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