View Full Version : IKON Metal

Scott Shepherd
06-11-2007, 4:21 PM
I went to a trade show for awards, signs, etc. this past week and saw some very interesting materials.

One in particular was a product called IKONMetal. It looks like real metal (because it has real metal in it). They had a bronzed look, a stainless look, and a brass look. Super nice, high end looking material and products. I asked about cutting it with a laser (it was 3/16"), and he said they were cutting it with a 50 watt laser in their lab.

He also said there is a new 1/8" version coming out soon that should cut fine with lower wattage lasers. You can supposedly do 3-D with it and it works out well. I really REALLY liked the look of this material.

Anyone seen or worked with it? You can laser (above 50 watts), sandblast it, route it.


Quite expensive, but it's a lot cheaper than casting the sign.

Neal Schlee
06-11-2007, 9:22 PM
I've used the Bronze and Stainless Ikon. Good results cutting and engraving it. Polish first if desired, then mask and engrave. I've also polished after engraved using Novus #3, #2, & #1 in that order.
I'll try to post a pic or two if I can find them. ULS 120 watt system.


Neal Schlee
06-11-2007, 9:36 PM
This was reverse engraved and color filled black. Size 2.375" x 4.125"


Scott Shepherd
06-11-2007, 10:18 PM
Nice Neil! Thanks for sharing it. That's the exactly the type of stuff I could imagine using it for, when people want a plaque that's normally cast.

Where did you get yours from?

James Rambo
06-11-2007, 10:57 PM
I just order the rowmark metalgraph in brushed copper, to do the same thing for a local historic home. I hope it finishes to the great look yours did.

Gary Shoemake
06-11-2007, 11:29 PM
I have used a 25 watts system with good results. Will post a pic later.

Rodne Gold
06-12-2007, 2:00 AM
The background of that plaque does not look good at all , unless its just the pic.
Deep engraving using a laser and a bass relief (ie letters standing out) never leaves a good surface in my experience,

Mike Null
06-12-2007, 7:45 AM
I have tested the material and found that it is very difficult to engrave and cut. Even though the result I'm posting looks acceptable, the engraving time involved and the slight warpage of the material lead me to conclude not to use it.

This is not color-filled but rubbed with steel wool.

Craig Hogarth
07-13-2007, 1:21 AM
I found a couple test samples that I must've gotten at the ARA a few months ago. It's difficult to cut, ran it ten times at 100p, 5speed on a 35w and got 2/3 the way through, although it broke pretty clean afterwards.

I have a video here of me trying to cut it at 100p 0.3 speed. pretty cool.


Raster here.....


Mike Null
07-13-2007, 7:52 AM
Your effort is why I won't use the material. I'm worried about damaging the optics in my machine.

Would you mind starting a thread on taking and posting videos. I, for one, would be interested in how to go about it.

Frank Corker
07-13-2007, 9:06 AM
Mike I was thinking the same thing. Those sparks seem pretty hot! I like the idea of the video stuff.

Brian Robison
07-13-2007, 2:06 PM
I love the look of that stuff but I don't think I would run it either. Thanks for the videos, if it wasn't for them I'd probably have tried it.

Todd Schwartz
07-13-2007, 2:16 PM
I am going to stop by the IKON Metal headquarters in Duluth MN next Monday on the way home from a short vacation. Am meeting with one of their sales guys and picking up some samples. Will be more than happy to forward on any of your questions or comments.


Brian Robison
07-13-2007, 2:27 PM
Maybe you can get them to watch the videos and ask if that's normal.

Dave Jones
07-13-2007, 3:02 PM
Craig, just curious if you were using air assist at the time of those videos.

Craig Hogarth
07-14-2007, 12:00 AM
Craig, just curious if you were using air assist at the time of those videos.

Air assist was on. I checked the lens afterwards and surprisingly it was very clean. I wonder if all materials actually fly this much with the only difference with Ikon metal is that you can actually see it.

Todd Schwartz
07-18-2007, 4:09 PM
I want to give you all an update on my visit to the IKON Metal headquarters on Monday.

First of all my contact's name was Bill, so I walked into the main area in my vacation attire and asked for Bill. Got a real strange look until we decided I wanted the salesman Bill and the CEO Bill. :)

Saw some very nice samples of what can be done with this product, with as little as a 30watt laser.

Did ask about the sparking as discussed earlier. Their response is that it will spark, but air assist will greatly reduce the sparking.

Asked about warping. Bill showed me a large piece (12" x 24") with most of the material removed, leaving the lettering and graphic raised. It had a small warp to it, but with removing that much material warping was not unexpected because of the stress put on the material. If mounted to a wall or backing material, the warp easily flattened out - guess you have to work knowing the limitations of the material.

Tried a sample last night on my 50W Universal - very good results. Engraved easily at 100% power and 25% speed. Took two passes to vector cut at 100% power and .8% speed. Interesting enough, even with two passes, did not char or melt, the edges came out clean. Got a fair amount of sparking with air assist, but not any more than I get when lasering the Rowmark LaserMag materials.

Some helpful suggestions by Bill
- their material has a protective coating on it and after lasering a quick buff on a buffing wheel or using elbow grease will really shine up the piece.
- on their brass and bronze products, they need to be sealed with a quick spray coat of poly, otherwise will tarnish. If used outside multiple coats of a "duocoat?" will protect them, they have product on the roof for two years submitted to the harsh northern MN winters and the heat of the summer with no ill effects.
- you will want to color fill, there is little contrast.

Overall was very satisfied, material is .2" thick and lasered will.


Mike Null
07-18-2007, 4:25 PM
Did you take any pictures?

martin g. boekers
07-07-2008, 8:24 PM
I have worked with the 3 metals that they provided each one is a little different. It takes alot of power to cut and burn. I have a 75watt epilog and I run full power 10 speed and do 3 passes. Between each pass use compressed air to clean out the cut perimeter. If you don't sometme it melts and doesn't cut through cleanly. Do multiple passes, if you slow down too much if doesn't cut as cleanly as it sort of fuses to itself or the heat warps the metal. It is a dificult material to work with, that being said, I look forward to improvements as they come because it definantly has potential, it just isn't there yet.


Kenneth Hertzog
07-07-2008, 11:36 PM
Attached is a link to the engraving I did with Ikonmedal
I worked very well and the air assist was on and I had very
little spark with the brass and bronze however the stainless did
spark quite a bit.
still nice to work with



Phil Salvati
07-11-2008, 7:20 PM
I have tried the brass and the stainless. I needed to make some name plates for motorcycles.

I couldn't get it to shine like Ikonics said it would.

They recommended using an air assist because of the sparks.

It leaves a heavy residue when lasing.... It took a while to clean the laser! I wouldn't use it again in the laser... BUT

I haven't tried it on the router yet though.


Thad Nickoley
07-13-2008, 7:44 PM
I'm probably just looking in the wrong area... but I just cant find any info on how you actually buy the material.

any help would be appreciated.

Happy Sunday.

martin g. boekers
07-13-2008, 10:23 PM
Here is the website for Ikonmetal.


The salesman's name is Bill. They have a sample pack for about $35
you get one sheet each of stainless, bronze and brass at 6" x 12" x .125
It's not as easy to use as the say. It is workable with some effort. It does make a mess though when lasering. It is make up of a fine metal powder with some form of a binder, so when you engrave you basically are eating through the binder and leaving behind the powder. If you do a fair amount of this the powder can find itself in the grooves of the drive motor gear. That will throw your engraving position. I had a similar problem with doing textured outdoor plastic that was a big mess too! It's not as bad if you just do standard engraving, but if you have inverted files to take away much of the background and leave the raised lettering it can take awhile. Watch how hot you run the laser as it will warp the sheets. I had to take the piece out and cool it down before I ran additional passes.

Hope this helps.