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View Full Version : Burgundy reverse engraveable give me a fit



Scott Shepherd
03-01-2007, 1:38 PM
I'm still wet behind the ears on all of this laser stuff, and I'm working night and day to figure it all out, but right now, I'm stumped.

I have one customer who's signs are all burgundy. Well, that in itself is a nightmare, since IPI doesn't make reverse engraveble burgundy (at least not in my catalog, and the small amount we use doesn't justify having them make it for us), Rowark's is a different tint than the non-laserable IPI that we've used for a long time on the rotary. Not to mention the use of GravoTac ADA burgundy.

All in all, 4 "burgundy" materials, all different and all slightly different in color which is more than visible to the naked eye.

Believe it or not, that's not the main problem. The main problem is reverse engraving this burgundy is anything but a pleasure to deal with. I think I've made about every sign I have done twice, or even three times to get one good one each time due to grain issues.

I use the same settings for the black reverse that works well, and I've bumped the power/speed up and down and even focused the laser out of focus by as much as 1/16" of an inch further away from the work.

For some reason, the burgundy seems to have a grain to it that no matter what, I can't make go away.

Am I missing something here, or is this just a given for certain colors? It's Rowmark burgundy. I even found a thread from the past where someone gave the settings for using the non-laserable burgundy. I tried that too. It had massive grain as well.

Rodne Gold
03-01-2007, 2:23 PM
Why not just spray clear acrylic with the shade of burgundy you want and reverse engrave?

Scott Shepherd
03-01-2007, 3:15 PM
Why not just spray clear acrylic with the shade of burgundy you want and reverse engrave?

Umm....because I never thought of that :)

Will the letters be clear, as the signage I'm matching is always backed with a piece of polished aluminum, so the letters look somewhat shiny?

Joe Pelonio
03-01-2007, 3:37 PM
First, are you sure they sent you the laser version? If they sent the rotary plastic it will engrave with a wierd ugly texture.

There's another way to do that. By the mirror silver mylar film normally cut on a plotter, apply it to the back of the acrylic. Then mirror the image so the laser vector cuts in reverse. Be sure the power/speed are set to cut only thru the film and not deep into the acrylic. Weed out the background, so only the letters are left, and spray the paint over that.

Either method, the rattle can paints for plastic are not available in many colors, you may have to match it and get a quart of latex, but you can roll 2-3 light coats with a 3" foam roller and the roll marks will not show through the front. We do that all the time but with plotter cut vinyl on the backs of the acrylic.

Scott Shepherd
03-01-2007, 4:03 PM
It has the "Laserable" logo on the protective film, so I'm guessing so. The burgungy also seems to love to bleed back into the freshly burned areas, making two passes necessary most of the time as well.

Darn burgundy.

Where do you get the silver mylar film? Sounds like a better solution all around. We don't do a lot of the burgundy, but we do a lot of the black the same way.

I'd love to find a better way.

Thanks for the help-
Scott

Bill Cunningham
03-01-2007, 9:03 PM
Painting whatever colour burgudy you want on clear Acrylic is the way to go.. You can then paint the lettering any colour you want as well..All from the back..

Scott Shepherd
03-01-2007, 10:20 PM
Painting might be out after talking about it some. We are now doing a lot of logos on the signs we make, and making it that way takes it back to a place we've been trying to get away from.

I did try turning the sign on burgundy 90 degrees and wow, it got way worse with the grain.

I'm not sure which way the grain runs, but I can assure you, it does have a grain to it. Man, that thing buckled 1/2" after cutting it with the sign turned 90 degrees.

Oh well, guess I'll just have to keep working with it until I figure it out.

Joe Pelonio
03-02-2007, 2:05 PM
Where do you get the silver mylar film? Sounds like a better solution all around. We don't do a lot of the burgundy, but we do a lot of the black the same way.

I'd love to find a better way.

Thanks for the help-
Scott
The nearest large city that has a sign supply, or you can order it from an online sign supply, or buy some at a local sign shop that does vinyl work. I use Arlon # 2850/3950 metallized polyester, but Avery, 3M, and Oracal all make a similar product. Be sure to also get transfer tape and a squeegie to apply it.

Mike Mackenzie
03-02-2007, 2:49 PM
Scott,

What type of Laser system are you using? Can you post a picture of this grain issue.

You have peeked my curiosity

Scott Shepherd
03-02-2007, 10:11 PM
Mike, I'll give it a try. It's an Epilog Helix 45W. I'll see if I can get a photo of the grain issue this weekend. Not sure if I can capture it or not, but I'll give it a try.