Author Topic: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!  (Read 44751 times)

EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #135 on: September 08, 2017, 08:25:15 AM »
Picked up my engraver at the post office this morning.  For some reason, I expected the box to be smaller.  ::)
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selfdestroyer

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #136 on: September 08, 2017, 11:14:36 AM »
Finally got my 2nd one (first one is still in China Customs) yesterday.

I was doing a bunch of phone meetings yesterday so I was able to build it on my desk at work.. got all kinds of looks from people. haha

I used the EleksCAM software that it suggested just to get it setup and test it. I may move over to BenBox.

Funny thing, When I hooked  up the laser to my laptop I forgot to shut it off first and now I see why they tell you to. During the USB discovery, it will turn on the laser for a split second. Thankfully I had a piece of wood under it and it burned it and not my bench. haha

I'm traveling next week so I will not get to play with it much other than this weekend. Time to have some fun.

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EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #137 on: September 09, 2017, 07:00:50 AM »
So, is this a part (for making plastic feet, maybe?)? Or, is it just packing material?  ???


All the extra parts (and the fact that some look very different from the drawings) make me nervous.   ;D
« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 07:21:59 AM by EBK »
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m-Kresol

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #138 on: September 09, 2017, 10:02:46 AM »
these parts go into the sides of the aluminium parts to hold in the cables for the y axis steppers
I build pedals to hide my lousy playing.

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EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #139 on: September 09, 2017, 10:55:28 AM »
Cool.  Thanks!
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EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #140 on: September 09, 2017, 10:58:25 AM »
- The button for my controller board has a round hole. The switch has a larger rectanguler protrusion. Maybe I am a moron but I don't know how that is supposed to work. I used an old game controller button with a spring instead.
Mine came with a small round chromed plastic push on cap for the switch.  Fits right in the round hole.
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EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #141 on: September 09, 2017, 03:09:15 PM »
these parts go into the sides of the aluminium parts to hold in the cables for the y axis steppers
Hmm....  Now that I've had more time to consider this, I realize that I don't understand what is the best way to install these.  Could you post a pic or two?

I see it now.

 

« Last Edit: September 09, 2017, 03:14:47 PM by EBK »
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culturejam

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #142 on: September 09, 2017, 03:40:17 PM »
Glad to see you guys are putting yours together!

I did another experiment, this time with rattle-can paint. Worked pretty good. And actually, I might work on doing low-power one-pass burning of the paint, since it turns a nice black color as seen in the first pic. But cutting down to the metal was pretty easy (two passes at 90% power) and cleaned up very easily -- just a toothbrush and some water. Doing it under a faucet with running water is the fastest way.

I did three coats of automotive touch-up paint (Duplicolor brand) and let the last coat dry for 48 hours. The color I chose is not good for contrast against the color of the box (I call it "Grandma's Mercury Sable Champagne"), so the end result is kind of bland. But it looks great after one pass with the black soot in there. I might try that again and stop with one pass and then just clearcoat the whole thing.

Still got a few issues to work out with the x/y not being perfectly parallel, but I think I have it narrowed down.

I'm also looking at adding limit switches so I can actually "home" this thing and make locating/alignment a lot easier. The T2 Laser software supports homing if you have the switches installed. More to come!
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EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #143 on: September 09, 2017, 04:38:21 PM »
Think these etches might be deep enough to squeegee some silk screen ink into?  Just another thought I had.
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culturejam

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #144 on: September 09, 2017, 05:13:09 PM »
Think these etches might be deep enough to squeegee some silk screen ink into?  Just another thought I had.

For the thicker powdercoat, I would definitely think so. I'm not sure about the paint, but you could always do more coats to thicken it up. Paint is cheap.
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wgc

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #145 on: September 09, 2017, 06:34:00 PM »
black acrylic paint works great as a backfill for those times you want more contrast. Wipe it on, let it haze over, and wipe off the excess. 
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culturejam

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #146 on: September 09, 2017, 06:58:13 PM »
black acrylic paint works great as a backfill for those times you want more contrast. Wipe it on, let it haze over, and wipe off the excess.

You mean the stuff in the little plastic bottles?  I'll have to try that.
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pickdropper

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #147 on: September 09, 2017, 08:22:38 PM »
black acrylic paint works great as a backfill for those times you want more contrast. Wipe it on, let it haze over, and wipe off the excess.

You mean the stuff in the little plastic bottles?  I'll have to try that.

That's what I used for the Reverse Centaur build.  The only issue I have is that the etch is so shallow that wiping it away with alcohol often pulls it out of the fill as well.  I did the Rev Centaur under a microscope with a syringe full of acrylic paint and a 30 gauge gluing tip.
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wgc

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #148 on: September 10, 2017, 06:52:47 AM »
Lol, a syringe is hardcore. I'd probably try a fine brush in that event.  Btw great build, crazy graphic!

Big etched areas are harder to cover without wiping some of the paint out again.

There's a sweet spot in terms of letting it dry to where its tacky enough to stay put where you want it, but you can still get the excess off with a damp cloth.

I wipe it on a bit thick, get all the fill covered. Next I squeegee off most of it with a piece of thin cardboard, using the flat edge to preserve the low spots. Then I use a damp paper towel to clean up areas I know I don't want paint on, but without disturbing the fill. Then wait for a haze- like waxing a car. Finally I use a damp cloth to wipe off anything I don't want. A slightly wet q-tip can help in some areas. You might have to do a little touch up here and there. It's maybe 10 min altogether.

If your paint/powder is very thin, you could try a brush or syringe to do the application and maybe minimize the amount of clean up wiping. Definitely easier when the etch is deeper and is not very wide.

Btw I use the nicer artist grade stuff in the tubes (has more/finer pigment), but the cheap stuff should work too. Some colors may behave a little differently but black works great. I haven't tried alcohol to clean up acrylic, will give it a shot though intuitively I feel it might be harder to control.

I used colored pencil on one build (fuzz u) which worked well because the lines were thin but deep, but I think success may vary a lot more than paint.

I may try crayons sometime too, maybe heating things up a little once the excess is cleaned off.
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EBK

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Re: Laser engraving enclosures with a cheap Chinese machine? Yes!
« Reply #149 on: September 10, 2017, 07:08:31 AM »
Maybe a damp paper towel wrapped over something rigid like a credit card would do a better job wiping up while leaving the fill.
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