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Trey Tull
02-09-2018, 10:11 AM
Can you take a galvo co2, add a rotary and make super fast passes on powder coated cups? From time to time, I get large (well....large for me) orders and one customers logo in particular takes 3 passes on an OT cup. The three passes total takes about 12 mins and I'm wondering if a galvo co2 or some other type of machine will allow me to cut that time down significantly? That logo is VERY detailed, so I'm looking for something that will maintain the same level of detail as my Universal 60w machine.

Trey Tull
02-09-2018, 10:37 AM
Or would a fiber w/ rotary work well for powder coated cups? Not concerned with marking stainless. I will continue to use my ULS 660 for that.

Scott Shepherd
02-09-2018, 11:00 AM
I'd say no. Galvo fibering powder coated cups is hit and miss. Some colors it works fantastic, some it will never get through to metal. I had an orange and I engraved it many, many times and it would never go to base metal. Engraving cups on a galvo fiber isn't a smart investment, in my opinion.

I will say that 12 minutes on 3 passes is also quite long. See if you can get away with image density of 4. That's about the only thing that's going to help at this point.

Mike Null
02-09-2018, 11:54 AM
Powder coating is not all equal. I've had good luck with the Yeti brand but less with other brands. Black is the easiest to do in all cases but reds, blues and greens can be trouble. Even so, I never do more than two passes.

FWIW, I base my pricing on a 2.5" image. If they want larger, they pay more.

Kev Williams
02-09-2018, 12:40 PM
Any galvo + rotary combination seems to = http://www.engraver1.com/gifs/pullinghair.gif http://www.engraver1.com/gifs/nilly.gif http://www.engraver1.com/gifs/banghead.gif for most of us with them ;)
The frustration results from trying achieve seamless transitions from one engraved section to the next. Unless all is right with the world, it just doesn't happen. The bandaids some use, such as very tight splits, results in slower engraving than a non-galvo can do.

A galvo rotary is wonderful for engraving text and certain graphics that can be split between separate sections. But splitting a mostly solid graphic into 5 or 6 sections ends up looking like it's sitting behind a fence...

This pic illustrates the 2 biggest issues, that I at least, have faced with rotary/galvo engraving...
notice the top logo, the left portion is nearly seamless, but by the middle, seams are showing big time...
This is because of slight variations in the rolling radius while engraving,
either due to the part itself, or how it's held in the rotary.
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and the bottom logo, note the seams are 'jagged'--
this is because the rotary was not turning at a perfect 90 to the laser's output,
resulting in each section being tilted...

So even very slight variations in the rolling radius or angularity of the rotary to the machine means crap results. And typically, these variations will be more than 'slight'.

Plain old XY axis engraving, with tools or laser beams, is by far the best option when the work must be rotated...

Trey Tull
02-09-2018, 1:07 PM
Thanks for the replies. I agree that Yeti's powdercoat is the best to deal with but to meet the customers budget, I'm using OT. I'm using the hunter green and 2 passes will remove the green but three makes it look ALOT better.

So I read so many posts where some of you are pulling your hair out with the fiber machines. If they aren't good for cups and slow to mark metal, what is a small (<60w) fiber good for? I'm not asking about your top secrete jobs, I'm just curious are they worth all of the headache for the work you do with them?

Scott Shepherd
02-09-2018, 1:15 PM
They are insane with things like anodized aluminum. They are also like a rubik's cube when it comes to settings. Extremely complex in settings. Looks simple, but it's not. I had some plastic one time, and with some settings it engraved white. Other settings, it engraved black. That's awesome, but trying to figure out 3-5 settings that all need to mesh together to get the "final" setting is really a challenge. Most everyone is just winging it.

Kev Williams
02-09-2018, 2:55 PM
So I read so many posts where some of you are pulling your hair out with the fiber machines. If they aren't good for cups and slow to mark metal, what is a small (<60w) fiber good for? I'm not asking about your top secrete jobs, I'm just curious are they worth all of the headache for the work you do with them?
Not good for cups, but 'slow to mark metal' depends on what you're doing- Like Steve says, anodized aluminum (not all mind you) can be 'insane'. Like- because of the fiber, a customer's parts I used to do in the C02 for $X each I now do for $X less 44% each... 50 parts in the C02 would take about 40 minutes. The same 50 parts in the fiber I can do in about 6 minutes. So while I'm making 44% less money, each dollar I DO make comes 266% faster. I'm making money faster and my customers are VERY happy at the discounts. You might think the 40% discount would negatively impact my bottom line, but-- Even with the discounts I've given my sales last year were up 27% over the previous year. For a 51 year old business that's always done well, that's beyond significant :)

Other metal engraving, this Glock slide for example.
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The engraving was in the .005" deep neighborhood, took 22 minutes IIRC. Tool engraving a Glock is horrible because they're so hard. I could've done this by tool in 10 minutes of engraving time. But due to the detail and material hardness, I likely would've had to re-sharpen the tool at least twice if not 3 times, which is about 3 minutes a pop. So net working time would be about the same. Laser beams don't need re-sharpening, and that's a wonderful thing! ;)