CNC laser engraving laminate is like any other material, settings are key for good results but so is a proper drawing. In today’s blog post, we’ll look at the exact same image, sent over to the laser, one an inverse of the other with a few other tweaks, to show you just how much of a difference can be achieved.
CNCKing.com is my other company where I sell digital CNC files around the world to others with CNC lasers, routers, plasmas and industrials lasers. I also have five volumes of my books available there for digital download.
Let’s look at the drawing first and compare that to the final output.
Basically, the one on the left is scrap while the other on the right is more than presentable. This result would be achieved regardless of material by the way, if this was stainless steel annealing or fiber marking anodized aluminum or solid wood, the red would be the untouched part while the white, the engraved. Let’s take a look at the production behind both.
Laminate tends to “roll up” when there is a lot of heat added to it, which is why metal business card “weights” are used. These are my scrap and test pieces, you’ve seen them before on the CNCROi.com blog many times! They do double-duty as well to help the camera focus during the videos.
Due to the precision of our Trotec Speedy 400 flexx, an Austrian wide-format CNC laser, we are able CNC laser engrave any material at any angle with absolute precision. The steeper motors are just as precise going along the X axis as the Y axis.
We generally do all our laminates in one pass, with a powerful extraction system, very little residue is left on the laminate after the work is done so it just needs to be wiped with water and the project is done!
After engraving, the CNC laser machine then cuts out my self-portrait. Here you can really see the effect of heat on laminate, notice the head is bending upwards as the rest is being cut out. This flattens after so it’s only a temporary thing.
The nice feature about laminate is that it can come in an endless variety of color combinations, in this case, CNCROi.com used RED/WHITE but there is also the reverse as well as metal “looking” laminate and even wood grain’ed laminate!
The results don’t look half bad, now what we’ll do is reverse engrave and change a few settings to produce something of higher quality.
To minimize material waste, the drawing was set-up as close as possible to the past laser engraving, hence engraving in the opposite direction.
You can already see a dramatic difference, you can clearly make-out my face far better than the previous laminate engraving.
As the laser is engraving the saying and portrait, you’ll notice the slight shades from my white shirt (don’t wear a white shirt for portraits) are also starting to come out. There is a far larger tonal range in this version than the previous one as well as more defined features.
Again, only a few minor settings were changed, the drawings are identical otherwise.
After engraving, time to cut it out.
That’s something that can be hung on a wall! The aluminum grid table was used so that the flame produced during the cutting process (none during engraving) shoots downwards into the vacuum table, not above towards the CNC laser head. This also gives a finer cut as the laminate is cooled as soon as it’s cut.
If you are looking for a new medium to use to display everything from your corporate logo to artistic endeavors, give CNCROi.com a call and we’ll make it happen!
Here is our brochure for your review.