Tuesday, December 23, 2014

cermark alternative













Bryan came in to visit me at the studio today. He was asking about the material that Eric used to engrave the flask I have. He wondered if I might have some Cermark that he could use for laser etching a stainless steel Christmas gift. He mentioned that he had heard of a DIY solution so we did a quick search and ended up with Mother's Chrome Polish and plaster of paris. As we read a bit deeper into the forum, the solution was simplified by isopropyl alcohol and plaster of paris. Bryan ran to the art store and I pulled some scrap stainless steel. We mixed up the mixture into a ketchup like consistency and then brushed it on the metal. We figured the lumpy application would give us a good test to see what the optimum thickness should be. I dried the paste like mixture with a heat gun to prepare the metal sheet for laser engraving. I made a quick hatch in Rhino and set the file for cutting on the Epilog. I placed the stainless steel in the Zing, set the setting to 100% power and 5% speed. Much to our surprise, the laser started to engrave the stainless. We pulled the piece out and Bryan rinsed the plaster of paris off. The marks remained and there is a noticeable "bite" to the engraving. You can see where the plaster of paris was a bit lumpy and the engraved image is not as dark. The results would obviously be better via spray application (air brush or detail gun) of the plaster of paris and alcohol. We are testing this now and I will report back. Regardless this sure beats an expensive can of Cermark.




10 comments:

Eric Larson said...

WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!

Frankie Flood said...

RIGHT????!!!!

Have Blue said...

Ohhhhh, I am so stealing this idea...

Have Blue said...

Also, Pete noted that you guys made Hackaday: http://hackaday.com/2014/12/25/laser-etch-stainless-with-only-plaster-alcohol/

Frankie Flood said...

yeah, please use it! I know we're going to use it! Just too cool, not to use it from time to time.

Bill Murray said...

Time to get some mayer rods to make sure you have even coverage.

For example: http://www.rdspecialties.com/wirewoundrods.html
although you can probably make on cheaply.

Have Blue said...

I had to look up 'mayer rods' and wish I knew of them years ago when trying to figure out how to apply an even thickness of heatsink compound years ago in school... As always, Doc Murray is a fount of knowledge!

Frankie Flood said...

yeah Doc Murray is opening my eyes to mayer rods as well. Man, everyday, I find myself wishing that I knew more...

krekr said...

Awesome. I'm making myself a big bottle of this. Got some pretty sweet results on brushed stainless on my crappy chinese laser. Thanks so much!

Frankie Flood said...

+krekr glad it worked for you!

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