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Thread: Need a coated aluminum to laser engrave for acid etching

  1. #1

    Need a coated aluminum to laser engrave for acid etching

    I want to make replacement VIN plates for antique cars. I have figured out the acid etching but the masking ... not so much. My laser will engrave the pattern in spray paint but it could be crisper. The spray paint I tried (Krylon Fusion) burns away a bit at the edges of the cut. I would prefer to have pre-coated aluminum that I could engrave without bothering to paint it myself. Wondered if there was anything out there ready made for this task.

    Adrian

  2. #2
    A black anodized aluminum should work. Try Johnson's Plastic.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  3. #3
    Are you running an outline pass after the paint-engraving pass? If not, try it, run a slow, low power outline. If it's still a bit choppy, it could be because your raster left-right/right-left tuning is a bit off, causing some lines to extend beyond the actual engraving boundaries. A fix for this would be to use the contour tool to add a second, slightly offset outline--

    as an example, I made this up, the top is just simple black, but the bottom I used the contour tool and created a .001" offset and made it a yellow hairline, the blue background is so you can see it... and a close-up wireframe view...
    offs1.jpg offs2.jpg

    --the lettering is 14 pt so the .001" offset is fairly pronounced. So after engraving the original, the offset vector pass should put a nice knife-edge on the paint. And if the Fusion paint still leaves a ratty edge, just try changing paint
    Last edited by Kev Williams; 06-08-2018 at 5:13 PM.
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