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View Full Version : How small can a cnc engrave?



Gary Herrmann
08-10-2008, 11:58 PM
Purely an academic question at this point. Could a cnc router be used to engrave a pen or is that exclusively the province of lasers or hand tools?

I'm thinking small logos or a name. I'm beginning to get more requests like that.

Thanks.

James Jaragosky
08-11-2008, 12:04 AM
There are plenty of videos of small stuff getting engraved.
So to answer your question some cnc routers set up right, can do really small stuff.

james mcgrew
08-11-2008, 12:13 AM
i could take a pencil and write with mine!!

jim mcgrew

Steve knight
08-11-2008, 1:07 AM
the problem is more the bit and depth then anything else Plus the material your cutting. it can get hard to get the cut deep enough on really small letters to compensate for a not perfectly flat surface or the material.
the solution to this is a spring loaded diamond drag tip. this just scratches or engraves a piece and you can get very small with it. far smaller then you can with a spinning bit and keep it clear.
the first pic was done with a spinning 60 degree engraving bit the second with a diamond drag tip. I did some really small lettering with it but I can't find a pic of it.
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/ALO/P1000524.jpg
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/ALO/P1000525-1.jpg

Steve knight
08-11-2008, 1:11 AM
i could take a pencil and write with mine!!

jim mcgrew

I have with mine (G)
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/posting/drawingonthecnc3_resize.jpg

james mcgrew
08-11-2008, 1:18 AM
man i love this forum

steve that is cool!!!

jim

Steve knight
08-11-2008, 1:50 AM
it's pretty simple just two brass tubes a sharpie and a lead weight. but it is sure handy to check part layout and such to mark parts and to see what something would look like before you cut it. it has saved my butt a few times.
think thats cool check this out this is the spring loaded diamond drag tip.

http://s154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/engraving/?action=view&current=mirrorengraving-1.flv

and more I did with it
http://s154.photobucket.com/albums/s266/knighttoolworks/engraving/

james mcgrew
08-11-2008, 1:59 AM
theres quite a dission going on on shopbots forum about carving granite. did you do this one on the photo bucket?

jim

Steve knight
08-11-2008, 2:06 AM
theres quite a dission going on on shopbots forum about carving granite. did you do this one on the photo bucket?

jim

yes I did it. but the surface is only scratched. and it is limited to dark colored stone unless you stain the lines. but sure looks cool and can do very fine detailed work.

james mcgrew
08-11-2008, 2:07 AM
cool off to bed see yall tommorrow jim

Gary Herrmann
08-16-2008, 9:59 PM
Sorry - I was on vaca. Thanks everyone for your responses. It sounds like I could carve pens if I tweaked the system. Something to keep in mind...

Michael Kowalczyk
08-17-2008, 2:54 AM
You can also use jewelry bits. On the ArtcamPro forum, the jewelsmith side has some incredible fine detail.

Here's one for you http://www.bitsbits.net/

Make sure your CNC can do HI RES stuff. If your CNC has .010" to .020" of slack that can look
real sloppy when you get real tiny.

but it can be done and you will just have to experiment with different engraving fonts to see which one(s) looks the best with your particular bits on your substrate.