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Pete B
01-05-13, 22:03
Hi,

does anyone know anywhere hopefully in the North East that does laser engraving cheaply please.
I have at different times plain timber boxes i need laser engraving, possibly barrels as well, i don't do this as yet and am reluctant as i think it spoils some pens but i might have to.
I use a very nice chap in Yorkshire but its proving a problem with postage here and there mounting up and Royal mail have just increased prices.

A different question. I have been looking for what seems like forever at laseer engravering machines on ebay for about 450 or less, like this one

USB CO2 LASER ENGRAVING CUTTING MACHINE ENGRAVER/NEW e1 | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-CO2-LASER-ENGRAVING-CUTTING-MACHINE-ENGRAVER-NEW-e1-/270724611652?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3f0871be44)

they look identical to ones in the UK for over 1100 last time i looked.
I am sceptical because if it lasted 2 minutes it would be a problem as i couldn't just send it back.The sundries would not be a problem, but it would have to be at least reliable to pay for itself. It would have to do at least 2o boxes approximately to break even based on what i am charged. 20/ box plus return postage and a one off every so often as the engraver keeps a stock on my boxes.
I just wondered if anyone had any experience of these reliability and quality of engraving wise etc.

Regards

Pete

Jim
01-05-13, 22:07
Pete, i not 100% certain but David (Jimjam) does something similar to this, or is it just CNC work he does? He may be the man that can help you out ... :thinks:

bellringer
01-05-13, 22:10
his is just cnc

Jimjam66
02-05-13, 08:09
Pete, I don't have a laser cutter YET! E expensive components in a laser machine are the tube and the power supply - everything else is cheaply got and replaced. As far as electronics go, cheaper machines will have 'all-in-one' integrated boards so if one component goes you'll have to replace the whole thing, but its still not particularly expensive.

The machine in your link is a 40W which is going to limit you as far as depth of cut is concerned. If all you want to do is engrave I'm pretty sure you'll get your use out of it. If you want to start cutting timber at some point you'll want to look for a larger cutting area and possibly an 80W tube.

If you fancy building your own, have a look at Build Your CNC (http://buildyourcnc.com/default.aspx). They have just added a laser cutter to their site.

Jimjam66
02-05-13, 09:32
Oh, one more thing: you'll be fine engraving a FLAT surface like a pen box lid. Barrels will be a challenge. Lasers only have a X and a Y axis, the traditional Z axis is replaced by a focus adjustment on the lens. Very small variations in distance from lens to surface (like on a curved barrel) can have a significant effect on the engraved result. You'll have to suck it and see, not really easy to predict what the results will be.

If you want to get into barrel engraving/cutting, you may want to either look at more expensive stuff that has a 4th axis add-on (which rotates the barrel to keep the surface at a constant distance from the lens) or investigate the practicalities of designing your own.

trapper
02-05-13, 17:26
Be carefull about buying a laser from china they only work with there rather limited and poor software, it is possible to make it work with mach3 but not an easy task. I'm working on something that will do it basicaly its a cnc machine with the pen tubes on a mandrel much in the same way as a pen wizard . Problem I cant get sorted is the mandrel so sadly its work in progress. I do know of a company in the Forest of dean that do it but far from cheap........ have look for jewellers that engrave trophy and silver items they probably can do it

wm460
02-05-13, 17:49
Frankenstein Laser Engraver (http://link.email.dynect.net/link.php?H=vC56V7JaBiC4puBjrtwf0Lk9E%2B4zSctGGz8F1 LTtec5m13wlFsT4RWbI/OH8uW3yMP1Annqt7GdOxt2GEyMFJ7bDeAdddGsT&G=610&R=http://clients.mill33.com/track?campaign_id%3D3700%26id%3D5678300%26token%3D 27e5f498679e%26link_id%3D169163%26link%3Dhttp%253A %252F%252Fwww.instructables.com%252Fid%252FFranken stein-Laser-Engraver%252F&I=%3c20130502140043.061299042A37%40api6-01-pao%3e&X=MHw3MTE2MTM6Q2FtcGFpZ247MXw3MTE2MTQ6MzcwMDsyfDcx MTYxNToyN2U1ZjQ5ODY3OWU7M3w3MTE2MTY6NTY3ODMwMDs%3D )

Pete B
02-05-13, 20:11
Thank you all very much

Pete

trapper
11-05-13, 12:44
Pete, There are several professional machines available but you need a lottery win to buy one prices start at 4800.00 + vat. I'm in the process of building a cnc rotary engraver and will post an article on the build in a month or two the main problem is the software to make it work .

clumsysod
11-05-13, 14:06
I'm in the process of building a cnc rotary engraver and will post an article on the build in a month or two the main problem is the software to make it work .
Now that I would be very interestd to see as I am dabbling at the moment myself (sort of).

Jim
11-05-13, 17:13
Pete, There are several professional machines available but you need a lottery win to buy one prices start at 4800.00 + vat. I'm in the process of building a cnc rotary engraver and will post an article on the build in a month or two the main problem is the software to make it work .


Steve, in your neck of the woods does the days consist of 24 hours ... :goesred: You must have the same energy levels as Matty ... :ciggrin:

Pete B
11-05-13, 19:25
I would love to see that as well.

Pete

trapper
11-05-13, 19:44
Well today I have made up the x or is it the y axis. I have worked out the rotisserie element. I have simply now to make that element up and perfect the "mandrel" alignment so forming the y or x axis........ thank god mum told me to mind my p's and q's .
The real problem is the z axis (vertical) this needs to be able to freely follow a contour yet also have resistance so allowing a cutting depth control........ well it beats counting sheep to get to sleep

trapper
11-05-13, 19:46
Jim, Its simply the content of the water we call it the bitter taste of Brains in Wales:funny:

Terry
11-05-13, 20:03
Well today I have made up the x or is it the y axis. I have worked out the rotisserie element. I have simply now to make that element up and perfect the "mandrel" alignment so forming the y or x axis........ thank god mum told me to mind my p's and q's .
The real problem is the z axis (vertical) this needs to be able to freely follow a contour yet also have resistance so allowing a cutting depth control........ well it beats counting sheep to get to sleep

????????????? lol:thinks::thinks::thinks:

Jim
11-05-13, 20:19
????????????? lol:thinks::thinks::thinks:

Where in this together Terry ... :ciggrin:

clumsysod
11-05-13, 20:26
Well today I have made up the x or is it the y axis. I have worked out the rotisserie element. I have simply now to make that element up and perfect the "mandrel" alignment so forming the y or x axis........ thank god mum told me to mind my p's and q's .
The real problem is the z axis (vertical) this needs to be able to freely follow a contour yet also have resistance so allowing a cutting depth control........ well it beats counting sheep to get to sleep
That's the easy bit, its the making it work bit I am interested in what software how. I am novice on computers and no way can I get my head around CAD. Help.

bellringer
11-05-13, 20:32
That's the easy bit, its the making it work bit I am interested in what software how. I am novice on computers and no way can I get my head around CAD. Help.

2D cad is easy but 3D is harder

Jimjam66
12-05-13, 06:17
That's the easy bit, its the making it work bit I am interested in what software how. I am novice on computers and no way can I get my head around CAD. Help.

George, the easiest route to CAD is as follows:

If you're only interested in 2D, as Alex says its easier, download Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/) for free. You'll find its just like drawing.

If 3D is your bag, download Sketchup (http://www.sketchup.com/) for free. It's a LOT harder to wrap your head around.

Now that you've got the software, go to Google and search either 'Inkscape tutorial' or 'Sketchup tutorial'. Have a few days available to trawl through all of the stuff you'll find! :bwink:

clumsysod
12-05-13, 06:29
George, the easiest route to CAD is as follows:

If you're only interested in 2D, as Alex says its easier, download Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/) for free. You'll find its just like drawing.

If 3D is your bag, download Sketchup (http://www.sketchup.com/) for free. It's a LOT harder to wrap your head around.

Now that you've got the software, go to Google and search either 'Inkscape tutorial' or 'Sketchup tutorial'. Have a few days available to trawl through all of the stuff you'll find! :bwink:
Wow cheers for that information. Education from everywhere and at my age too.
What a wonderful world we live in.
I have something very simple in mind not thinking about 3d printing or cnc machines as I am restricted for space very much so.
Theory being if it will scratch a name in a lollystick it will do same on a pen.
Pocket laser engraver. (http://www.instructables.com/id/Pocket-laser-engraver/)

wm460
12-05-13, 08:25
Whats a cad got to do with Laser engraving?

cad
A rogue, or bounder. A cad is a man who is aware of the codes of conduct which seperate a gentleman from a ruffian, but finds himself unable to quite live up to them. Cads are quite capable of disguising themselves as good chaps for some time, only revealing their true nature in circumstances of particular stress or temptation. Others embrace their caddishness whole-heartedly and delight in behaving in a manner which is, to be quite frank, not cricket.

bellringer
12-05-13, 09:48
George, the easiest route to CAD is as follows:

If you're only interested in 2D, as Alex says its easier, download Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/) for free. You'll find its just like drawing.

If 3D is your bag, download Sketchup (http://www.sketchup.com/) for free. It's a LOT harder to wrap your head around.

Now that you've got the software, go to Google and search either 'Inkscape tutorial' or 'Sketchup tutorial'. Have a few days available to trawl through all of the stuff you'll find! :bwink:

I manged to get The full auto desk package for free as I am a student I would of been £4,500 if I had to buy it

clumsysod
12-05-13, 10:04
Getting the package is not the problem, learning how to use it is my nemisis.
Mark CAD computer aided design I think.
What I need is to send text direct to board somehow ideally through a paint programme.
I have seen somewhere that claims to do such a thing but have slept since then and can't rmember where.

trapper
12-05-13, 10:42
Well idealy you need something like corel draw or Artcam feeding via mach3 as your g code provider driving the steppers...... what im trying to build should in theory allow script to be engraved even on clips or around the pen inkscape should be able to do this but either way i agree its learning how to use the programmes thats the brain nummer