Just for fun.

If you milled something cool and you want to show it to others post it here.

Re: Just for fun.

Postby tau » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:38 pm

Tweakie.CNC wrote:Go on, get yourself a laser, you know that you deserve it – your old projects will still be there tomorrow, & the day after. ;) Tweakie.


I am pretty sure they will be.. :lol:

Another questions reagrding your nice engravings:

How deep are your Laser etched engravings in the slate and you engrave them as bitmaps i presume?

BTW: Anyone having some experience with diode pumped fiber lasers and what kind of materials they can be used for? I think most of them are scaled to work fine with metals, but how do they perform with wood, plastic etc. and can such a powerful fiber laser (>1kw) be adapted for use with these different materials?

Tweakie, as you can see by my questions, your are already wearing me down. ;)
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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Tweakie.CNC » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:08 am

Hi Tau,

My slate engravings don't really have any depth (they can be made deeper by turning up the power but the visual result is the same) they are just really etching the surface. Having said that, the etchings would be extremely difficult to remove (perhaps sandblasting or a diamond grit sanding wheel would be necessary).

I am using the UCCNC laser engraving plugin which accepts most formats (.jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif, etc.) and the images are just downloaded from the net and scaled from within the plugin to suit the size of work.
The plugin is extremely easy to use - it only takes a few minutes to find a design on the net, transfer to laser machine and run the job.
Over the years I have used a lot of laser software and I can honestly say UCCNC is by far the easiest and the best.

Tweakie.
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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Robertspark » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:10 am

Tweakie.CNC wrote:Over the years I have used a lot of laser software and I can honestly say UCCNC is by far the easiest and the best.

Tweakie.


That's a good quote for a recommendation if I ever saw one from a long time mach3 user who's helped a lot of people on the mach3 forum with laser and a lot of other questions (.... Just trying to find some slate now.... Visit to Wales / lakes needed... Just probably not at the moment (covid19) .... Only want one roof slate or maybe a floor tile....
Rob
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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Tweakie.CNC » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:31 am

Thanks for the complements Rob, I won’t forget that you were the one who brought me here in the first place albeit I was a little late turning up. :lol:

This item was a failure but it is perhaps worth showing anyway. It was laser engraved in the same manner as the slate and then resin domed. I have, in the past, had no problems doming round and oval parts but I am going to need a lot more practice at doming rectangular parts. Fiddling about trying to get the resin into the corners introduced air bubbles and then it just went from bad to worse. :cry:

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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Robertspark » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:56 am

not uccnc, but stumbled across this recently on laser software forum and thought someone would be interested (bathroom tiles with a low power blue laser).

https://forum.lightburnsoftware.com/t/t ... flat/17955
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Tweakie.CNC » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:41 am

Hi Rob,

That is an excellent dot-dithered image, laser etched on a ceramic tile.

There are about a dozen or so commonly used algorithms for producing a dithered image and the premier software is perhaps PhotoGrav 3.0. It is not cheap but it is intended for the professional market and it is extremely good at what it does. For those that are interested the help/manual is here; https://documentation.help/PhotoGrav-3. ... uction.htm

UCCNC has it’s own image dithering routine built into the Laser Engraving plugin. I have not actually used it but I am sure it can produce excellent results and it is something I really must try someday.

When laser engraving ceramic tiles, the laser produces small fissures into the surface of the glaze, it has no colour so it has to be filled after the etching process is complete. I have tried all different filler materials over the years and the best I have found so far is called ‘Rub’n’Buff’.

Dot-dithering is just one of the countless different methods for producing half-tone images and this one of the tiles I produced some years back using Mach3.

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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Tweakie.CNC » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:30 am

Part 2…

Trying different laser techniques using UCCNC and the Norton (Paint / Paint stripper) method.
The etching is certainly permanent and cannot be removed with stripper or solvents but it is nowhere near a dark as Rob’s previously linked example and I don’t yet know what is causing the herring-bone styrations.

Obviously it is work in progress. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Tweakie.CNC » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:43 am

After some more testing using the Norton method it is evident that a slow feed-rate is necessary (1200 mm/min or less) to obtain the darkest black results. This appears to be due to, for want of a better word, ‘latency’ in the reaction of the paint / glaze. It takes a finite time for the paint to carbonize and be taken up by the melting glaze and if good results are to be obtained it just can’t be rushed. This does, however, make the process eminently suitable for lower powered diode lasers rather than CO2 lasers which are usually operated at feed-rates upward of 4000 mm/min.

The following pics show the surface ‘fissures’ created when lasering an uncoated ceramic tile and the carbon black which has been taken up by the glaze on a paint coated tile.

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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Robertspark » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:21 am

wow, you've been looking at that process in detail.

for an ultra novice like me

"carbon black which has been taken up by the glaze on a paint coated tile."

is this good or bad?

would this work for a tile installed in a bathroom or is it likely to not fare very well because of the condensation / mould potential?
Rob
Einstein ― “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”
...working my way through the 1000+ ways things don't work to find the one that does
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Re: Just for fun.

Postby Tweakie.CNC » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:06 am

would this work for a tile installed in a bathroom or is it likely to not fare very well because of the condensation / mould potential?


I am sure it would work perfectly.

The black has been taken up inside the glaze. I have no idea of the actual chemical reaction that has occurred here but the black cannot be removed with thinners, paint stripper or scraping (I am still conducting the dishwasher trials :lol: ). I have also left a sample in full sunshine just to see if it fades - I doubt it will although it may take a year or so to prove that.

Although smooth (no sharp edges) the blackened glaze is raised above the tile surface and this can be felt when touched. There is the possibility it could trap mould / bacteria but the chances are far less than would occur at the joins between adjacent tiles, etc.

In my opinion the Norton method is well worthy of further investigation although the process time would not make it an economic commercial thing, for one-off special tiles I think it would be great.

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