View Full Version : Lasering Anodized Aluminum

Terry Swift
07-21-2010, 5:04 PM

I have an issue with lasering some anodized aluminum business card holders like LaserBits sells (I didn't get mine from there). Whenever I laser, I get different results in the finish - where all the black coating didn't come off, but left traces of it. LaserBits recommends a setting of 80 power / 100 speed on a 35 watt system. I have gotten all the way down to using 100 power / 70 speed with still mixed results. I have the focus set right at the notch on my manual focus guide; so not sure why it lasers differently. I've used some scrap cases and tried it on them and gotten even different results. Would using something like Lazrclean work to get off the rest of the residue.

I've included a JPEG of the holder and you can see that lines come clean, while text (different fonts and sizes) doesn't.

Dan Hintz
07-21-2010, 5:37 PM
That is entirely toooo much power... you are more than likely burning down to bare aluminum with those settings.

Try something in the range of 100S/30P (this assumes a max carriage speed of 75ips at 100S, give or take).

Gary Hair
07-21-2010, 5:39 PM
On my machine, a 30 watt GCC, 80 ips, I use 100 speed and 70 power - I think you are overpowering it. Try inverting your settings to more speed and less power. Flip that case over and do a test grid of 1/8" squares at 100% speed and various power settings - I'd try 100%, 90%, 80%, etc., and see what works.
Probably the reason that the lines are better than the text is because the lines are being vectored and vectoring is usually slower?


Dee Gallo
07-21-2010, 5:41 PM
All the anodized I get from Chewbarka does well at 45 power/ 100 speed.

:) dee

Larry Alles
07-21-2010, 5:45 PM
Looks more like black brass judging by the color in the photo.
Try two passes 30 power and speed of 80

Dan Hintz
07-21-2010, 5:59 PM

It looks like the entire thing is rastered, no vectoring on it.

Mike Null
07-22-2010, 7:42 AM
I am inclined to think it's being over-powered as well.

Is this the customer's artwork? The text does not fit well to the path and looks as if it's been contorted.

Frank Corker
07-22-2010, 8:29 AM
I'd go along with too much power. Anodised generally isn't deep and only just breaks the outer surface.

Mike Christen
07-22-2010, 8:32 AM
I got some industrial grade anodized aluminum once, it was only anodized on one side (not sure how that was done). It lasered the same as your picture shows, I was never able to get a decent look out of it. I bought a 4'x8' sheet, not a good purchase:mad:

Randy Digby
07-22-2010, 9:01 AM
I engrave a good bit of anodized with settings of 100% power (30 watt) and 50% speed (about 55 in/sec). This setting gives me a good white mark on dark color anodized.

Scott Shepherd
07-22-2010, 9:24 AM
I agree with Dan, back way off on the power. Get it right and it'll be nice and white.

Scott Challoner
07-22-2010, 9:29 AM
Another vote for too much power. If I remember correctly, you don't want to remove the anodizing, just vaporize the pigments. I run at 90 speed and 20 power. 600dpi. A test grid will definitely help.