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Pieter Swart
04-16-2017, 8:36 AM
Hi,
I am brand new to the whole laser game. Just purchased my first Laser cnc... a 6040 CO2 80 w reci... thinking I can do all kinds of cool things with it.

Now my wife wants to cut some metal name tags out of nikkel, copper, aluminum etc... and now I have the wrong machine....

The idea is, for her to basically do funky little metal or alloy based tags on her clothing line, different shapes and sizes, engraved of course. And if I could do the odd business card for myself that would be fun too...

any leads on a relatively inexpensive ( not cheap ) laser cnc, suitable for cutting metal? up to about 1.2mm thick
I need it to cut a maximum of 15 inches wide...

Thanks in advance guys!!

Chuck Phillips
04-16-2017, 9:15 AM
Metal cutting is a whole different ball game price-wise. Check Kern Lasers for small format, metal capable laser cutting machines. Expect $75k and up pricing.

Your best bet is probably a metal finish plastic like those produced by Rowmark, Gemini, etc. These are easy to process on your CO2 laser. Colors include silver, gold, copper and bronze. Check with your favorite distributor.

Dave Sheldrake
04-16-2017, 12:03 PM
Oxygen assisted CO2 with a high pressure head will do it. drossy cuts though, if you want to do precious metals then it's going to be a fibre.

Import prices:

Oxygen assisted CO2 - $7k - $12k (4 foot by 4 foot up to an 8 foot by 4 foot)

Fibre - $22k for a 300 watt, $30k for a 500 watt, $70k for an 800 watt...all usually 2500mm x 1250mm bed size

Kern 400 watt (cuts metal without Oxygen) - $180k

Bill George
04-16-2017, 12:13 PM
Small benchtop water jet. There is one in Kickstarter right now, but it may not be cost effective to run.

Michael Henriksen
04-16-2017, 1:31 PM
You can get 6040 and 1390 enclosed fiber lasers from China now. Price in the range of $30-40K depending on power. If you want to cut copper and alu then you probably want at least 500W and even then it will only cut relatively thin material. You need O2 or N (lots of it!) depending on what metal you cut. A cutting laser won't do engraving so you need a 20-50W galvo for that.

Bill George
04-16-2017, 3:05 PM
A more practical solution would be chewbarka dot net (expired security certificate ) or a local water jet company who can do what you need. Its going to be pricey for custom aluminum or metal shapes of your design.

Dave Sheldrake
04-16-2017, 3:13 PM
Also remember, a lot of fibres are 3 phase

Julian Ashcroft
04-16-2017, 3:33 PM
She might be better looking at a different material for her tags, what about leather, you could either cut the shape out with your laser or for a cleaner edge, use a cutting die (you can get small custom dies made from 25.00) and then use your laser to engrave what's needed.

Michael Henriksen
04-16-2017, 5:05 PM
Also remember, a lot of fibres are 3 phase

I was surprised to discover that residential homes don't have 3-phase in UK. On the continent and up here in the North Atlantic it's common to have a 3-phase supply. Don't know what the situation is in the US?

Rich Harman
04-16-2017, 6:54 PM
I was surprised to discover that residential homes don't have 3-phase in UK. On the continent and up here in the North Atlantic it's common to have a 3-phase supply.

Common? To residential homes? Around here the power line (just one line) is 7kV. Our transformer (which serves three homes) brings it down to 220V via two hots (110V ea) and one ground wire.

Three phase would require two additional 7kV lines and two additional transformers. A huge extra expense to construct and maintain. If you truly have three phase power to residential homes, I would be curious to know how the power company justified that expense.

Bill George
04-16-2017, 6:55 PM
I was surprised to discover that residential homes don't have 3-phase in UK. On the continent and up here in the North Atlantic it's common to have a 3-phase supply. Don't know what the situation is in the US?

Residential, no 3 phase unless you order and pay a big fee... if its available in your area of town. Commercial, its pretty common as well as Industrial. Residential, 120 volts for household appliances, 240 volt for the stoves and other larger equipment and its single phase.

Dave Sheldrake
04-16-2017, 10:08 PM
once you hit 4.5HP (ish) here, it's 3 Phase or bust. Typical Household main switches are 100 amp onto 32 amp rings @ 240 volts (220 - 250) (Mains plugs are typically 13 amp rating) with dedicated lines for cookers and heating going on 16 amp dedicated circuits.

I had my 3 Phase fitted to the workshops about 4 years ago over here after I moved and it cost a lot more than a nice Trotec :(, pretty much most commercial (manufacturing) locations have it available but if you don't it's really expensive to have fitted.

From memory Fibres from 300 (ish) watts upwards are 3 Phase with 500+ all being 3 phase.

Michael Henriksen
04-17-2017, 5:36 AM
If you truly have three phase power to residential homes, I would be curious to know how the power company justified that expense.

All homes here have 3-phase here. Same in Denmark and Germany where I have also lived. In Germany it's quite common to use it on water heaters. Here it is usually used for the cooker. Some also have washing machines that run on 400V 3-phase.

Pieter Swart
04-17-2017, 9:07 AM
All homes here have 3-phase here. Same in Denmark and Germany where I have also lived. In Germany it's quite common to use it on water heaters. Here it is usually used for the cooker. Some also have washing machines that run on 400V 3-phase.



It's one thing if the country you live in has 110V and another if the country serves 220v.

I grew up in a country that served 220v single, and 400v 3-phase...

Now I live in the states, and its 110v single and 220v 3 phase... the wires in the 220v countries are much thicker and better shielded, buried underground, than the supplies in the US... single wire , un-shielded to a transformer, most often than not, in the air mounted to a telephone post...

Just thought I would throw in my $0.02c on it...

Rodne Gold
04-18-2017, 2:18 AM
A laser is not the tool you need , a cnc overhead router is the way to go to cut metals .. you can get a small one ex china for $5k or so

Kev Williams
04-18-2017, 12:40 PM
Hi,
I am brand new to the whole laser game. Just purchased my first Laser cnc... a 6040 CO2 80 w reci... thinking I can do all kinds of cool things with it.

Now my wife wants to cut some metal name tags out of nikkel, copper, aluminum etc... and now I have the wrong machine....

If you just need to cut "tags", all you need is a small, decent cam-operated metal shear, like my old beast here--
358499
This thing cuts 20ga stainless, .062" thick brass and .094" aluminum with relative ease.

Pick up a cheap 1" belt sander from Harbor Freight and some different grit belts, you can reshape the tag, chamfer or round edges, and using the side of the belt it's amazing how much 'hand carving' you can do.

For less barbaric metal work, Dremel tool.

All for less than an average car payment, and no 3-phase power needed. :)

Bill George
04-18-2017, 12:52 PM
You will need to sell a LOT of custom shaped nametags to pay for even good shear and belt sander. I have one of those 1 inch wide belt sander and I use it nearly everyday. I also have a decent 12 inch wide bench top shear I would hesitate to cut stainless with.
I would suggest doing a market survey before spending any large sum of money.

Scott Shepherd
04-18-2017, 1:22 PM
So there you go, you need a fiber laser....wait.....no.....a waterjet.....wait....no...a CNC Router.......wait.....no.....a shear and belt sander :) There, simple, huh? :D

Michael Henriksen
04-18-2017, 2:53 PM
The shear will cut blanks for tags but you still need something that will engrave them, either a cnc router or a laser engraver.

Clark Pace
04-18-2017, 5:48 PM
Another option is a tag company may already have the sizes you need in anaodized alumijum. Then you can engrave them with your existing machine

Pieter Swart
04-19-2017, 5:46 AM
358515

This is what I was after... something to do this relatively quickly and inexpensive, yet still provide a decent quality alternative.

Any suggestions comments or advice?

Chris J Anderson
04-19-2017, 6:24 AM
Brass deep engraving and colour filling - to do a nice job you probably need to go a bit expensive.

Tool engraving can also cut out the brass - i do it regularly.

Scott Shepherd
04-19-2017, 7:58 AM
I small shear and a corner rounder would do that stuff all day long. http://www.accucutter.com/Index.html make great equipment. The stuff you show is very thin in order to be bent, so their stuff would work just fine for you. No need to buy anything else. The corner rounder can also do holes.

Bill George
04-19-2017, 8:33 AM
A picture is indeed worth a 1,000 words on in this case two pages of posts. My 12 inch bench mounted $300 Shop Fox: shear, break, and roller combo will do that. Holes with a bench mounted heavy duty hole punch.

Chris J Anderson
04-19-2017, 10:55 AM
Hey Bill could you post a pic of your setup ?

Bill George
04-19-2017, 4:33 PM
All I have for now anyway is the Shop Fox shear, break, roller combo. Its Chinese and does need some (a lot of) fine tuning. Go to Amazon and do a search. I added a "real" squaring fence on the right side of mine.

> https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-M1052-Machine-12-Inch/dp/B005BPWP4S/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1492634521&sr=1-2&keywords=shop+fox+break

This might work for very thin stainless holes > https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-02612A-Multi-Purpose-Power-Punch/dp/B0002T87CW/ref=cm_wl_huc_item

Chris J Anderson
04-19-2017, 5:19 PM
Thanks Bill....

Pieter Swart
04-20-2017, 11:45 AM
Thanks Bill! I think this is the way to go!

Bill George
04-20-2017, 2:31 PM
Please bear in mind, that shear/break/roller combo is not top of the line and the setup instructions are not really correct you will need to do the typical de-bugging and setup of Chinese machinery. Mine now I can cut a sheet of copy/ laser paper and it looks like it was cut with scissors. I use it to cut only thin brass sheet and aluminum sheet for tags. Nothing heavier. With the proper fence I fabricated and installed on the right side to replace the rinky dink one it cuts 100% square. Yes I have cut some thin stainless but not an everyday thing.

I have one of those hole punches ordered.

On the combo machine above I would have purchased the Grizzly http://www.grizzly.com/products/12-3-in-1-Sheet-Metal-Machine/T26472Z If it was in Stock as I think its a better made machine.