Compact metal plate engraver

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robhurd
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Compact metal plate engraver

Post by robhurd »

Hi,

We're looking to purchase a small desktop engraver to engrave serial numbers onto small metal plates.

Can anyone offer any suggestions and advice on a suitable machine that could ideally sit on the side of an operators desk and be easily programmed to engrave small thin metal plates. Roughly the plate are about 3.5 inches long by by about 2 inches wide. The plates are only a few millimetres thick.

If such a machine exists we would like it compact, easy to use and maintain, reliable, relatively cheap to buy and safe to use on an office desk. It will only be required to engrave about 10 plates a week.

We're based in the UK.

Thank you for your time taken to read this post.

rig gap
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by rig gap »

For engraving the materials you are talking about, I would consider a CO2 laser...no clamping involved, just set up the program, lay the part on the grid (maybe in a fixture to create a precision position), and run...biggest worry would be fume extraction....

GeneMpls
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by GeneMpls »

CO2 laser will not mark metals- there are sprays that will make nice black marks on many metals after lasering [with CO2]. You would likely use a Fiber laser for marking metals.

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TReischl
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by TReischl »

GeneMpls wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:09 pm
CO2 laser will not mark metals- there are sprays that will make nice black marks on many metals after lasering [with CO2]. You would likely use a Fiber laser for marking metals.
Well that is news to me! CO2 lasers can flat out cut metal, marking is just a matter of setting the power level.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

GeneMpls
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by GeneMpls »

CO2 lasers can cut metal but it requires an added gas [usually oxygen], a specialized cutting head and a lot of power. I am on a laser forum for Ruida controllers and out of hundreds of members I doubt that 5-6 have metal cutting capabilities. The reason is cost of course. I live and breath [and love] CO2 lasers. Gene

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TReischl
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by TReischl »

GeneMpls wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:14 pm
CO2 lasers can cut metal but it requires an added gas [usually oxygen], a specialized cutting head and a lot of power. I am on a laser forum for Ruida controllers and out of hundreds of members I doubt that 5-6 have metal cutting capabilities. The reason is cost of course. I live and breath [and love] CO2 lasers. Gene


Quite a few different "gases" are used with CO2 lasers. Oxy, Nitrogen, Argon, and Air to name a few.

I would agree with you that most home shop users do not have the power for cutting metals. I lived and breathed them myself for quite a few years when I worked for MC Machinery (Mitsubishi Laser). It has been a long time, like 20 years now, but it seems to me we did not use any gas/air when marking. Could easily be wrong about that due to "old guy syndrome". I go back to the days of Coherent lasers, Spectra and others. My first contact with lasers were for cutting 3/4 maple plywood for steel rule dies back in the early 80's. It seems to me the choice of laser was a Coherent that put out about 500 watts. The actual laser was like 15 feet long! Pretty amazing how far they have come.
"If you see a good fight, get in it." Dr. Vernon Jones

GeneMpls
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by GeneMpls »

I am just setting up a 4x6 foot bed laser with a 130w and a 80w laser and that is considered high power in my crowd- the 130w tube is taller than I am [me= old, short, fat] with enough raw power it might be possible to mark metal but as you say it would be quite a glass tube if it were done that way. And expensive. A fiber laser would be the cheap way to do it for small parts, IMHO. Gene

I worked for Honeywell 50 years ago, worked on the Lunar Expeditionary Module control system. And I remember... nothing :twisted: . Except working Xmas eve for triple time, with no parts to do anything... just warm bodies.

RhoTu
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by RhoTu »

Interesting laser discussion but I thought the original poster was looking for a cheap way to engrave metal. A diamond drag point will mark any soft metals or anodized aluminum. Any of the small foot print should work. Or did I miss something?

RT

ozymax
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Re: Compact metal plate engraver

Post by ozymax »

Do a Google search for "Dot peen marking machine".
Looks like you can get many types of desk top machines from multiple suppliers, at a decent price.
There are also portable machines available.

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