Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

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KSS
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:19 am

Remember what i said about learning how to sharpen your own D-cutters?

Now's a good time to put it into practice.
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by jdaddyaz » Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:43 am

Must...stop...reading...or...else...wife...mad...new...hobby...resist...resi.....ahhhhhhhh
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by pld » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:04 am

Heh, yeah, I shouldn't have looked. Haven't even completed the build but now it seems I need a (frickin') laser for my (ill-tempered?) CNC.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by nateflanigan » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:08 pm

Tonight's mucking about...

Image

So, not particularly good results with the laser. Interestingly, at full power running 20 ips I got a really clean embossed look, that's LASER. LASER 2 was a bit of a cock up, run at 10 ips. LASER 3 run at 5 ips really started to get through the paint. I should really point out that the picture makes the etches look higher contrast than they really are. I tried infilling the first LASER etch with infill paint, it just wiped right out and left really smudgy residue on the finish. If there was an easy way to get the infill to work this would probably a good process, but I don't know if that's possible, even if you could do it with a syringe that'd be madness to do a whole panel.

The good news is, there were no fumes or anything like that. So if you had a k40 or something you could probably get some nice results. But, since infilling doesn't seem like an option, either process is going to be about etching/engraving to expose bare aluminum for the marking so I think I'll focus on getting a nice engraved look.

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Delta T
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by Delta T » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:33 pm

Something I want to try is using powder coat powder on the panel then use a laser to ‘cure’ the powder in whatever text or graphic needed. J Tech Photonics had done something exactly like this with pretty good results.

https://jtechphotonics.com/?p=5582

I could see this being useful for making PCB layouts too.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by nateflanigan » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:41 pm

Yeah I'm super curious about that, does powder coat need to be applied to bare aluminum?

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by BlinkyLights » Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:57 pm

Looks great...

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by emmaker » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:31 pm

Worked on a project about 25 years ago that used lasers, don't remember what type. I wasn't the laser person, worked on programming the controller but optics physicist I worked with said that the lasers they were using didn't have that long of a life span.

With these lasers how many hours/panels are they good for?

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Sat Aug 15, 2020 9:51 pm

Those results are better than I expected for the Dotcom painted blanks.

You're writing IPS. Inches Per Second. Is that really what you mean?

20 IPS is 1200 IPM !
-----------------------------------------
Powder coating is an electrostatic process. At a minimum, you have to be able to have a difference between the charge on the substrate and the powder.
That difference is what draws the powder to the substrate AKA panel in this case. Usually this means use of conductive bare metal. It's possible to do otherwise, but that's a tricky outlier in the grand scheme of powder coating.
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:09 pm

Jay, Diode lasers like those used here fade in power over time and are subject to the same kinds of failures as LEDs.

So much of the answer will hinge on how well issues like electrical power quality and stability, cooling<--A BIG one, type of use. continuous vs. pulsed and the circuit doing the pulsing.

But used with care Laser diodes in this W range will easily outlast the higher powered glass-tubed CO2 types. Synrad's patented metal tube has the best life in this class. and is most expensive. You'll find them in the better commercial office copier sioze lasers from epilog and universal, among others.

25 years ago you were likely using a flowing gas CO2 laser which would have had a fairly short lifetime before rebuild.

But all lasers degrade in power output over time. Not to mention that other important component in this field, the optics. That's a whole 'nother discussion!
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:10 pm

Reply above assumes your laser was a cutting type. If for an optical show, it would not be CO2.
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by Flounderguts » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:12 pm

You can powdercoat anodized aluminum...the anodic layer is also conductive, although not *as* conductive. It has to be very clean, though. The guys I know who do it clean with C-13 and then acetone.

I think CerMark is pretty much the same thing as powder coat, only the fusible pigment is in an adhesive matrix, rather than electrostatically applied. The main advantage to powder coating is that there are NO solvents or volatiles, so the process is very quick (ignoring the other advantages over traditional baked enamels) and relatively correctable. Using CerMark, although there are "contaminants" in the binder, a laser boils those off, or at least away to an edge at a very high spot temperature, so it works.

I have successfully used CerMark (in red and blue) on a white powder coated steel panel, using a CO2 laser at about 25W. It took a few tries to get it right, but it worked very well, and was durable. Our original process used a printed legend, and the laser marking looked just like silkscreen. It was fairly economical, and we only needed 550 parts. It took me about a day to test and maybe a day and a half to run all the parts (small pedestal machine, 22 parts at a time, each run was about 25 minutes of run time)

I don't think I'd want to handle static powder in my machine. I'd be worried about powder contamination of the lens and other parts...no telling what parts of my set up or enclosure hold what kind of charge when!
----------------------

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:16 pm

FWIW, that JP guy washing powder down -what appears to be- a normal kitchen sink is a serious 'dick' move!

As if micro-plastics aren't already enough of an environmental problem.

Don't do that.

Otherwise it looks to be a promising method somewhat related to UV printing.
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by emmaker » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:31 pm

KSS wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:10 pm
Reply above assumes your laser was a cutting type. If for an optical show, it would not be CO2.
Thanks for the info KSS. We were working with industrial type lasers back then.

I was spoiled on laser light shows since the first one I saw was Laserium for the Tangerine Dreams Encore '77 tour in Portland, OR. All the other ones at planetariums I've seen haven't even came close (haven't been to a planetarium in 25 years though).

Thanks
Jay S.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by nateflanigan » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:43 pm

You're writing IPS. Inches Per Second. Is that really what you mean?
Egads, NO, IPM is what I meant.

I read up on some more lacquer stik techniques and am giving it another try, I just rubbed the paint in and I'm going to let it sit over night.

http://amfone.net/Amforum/index.php?topic=9475.0;wap2
https://www.xdtalk.com/threads/lacquer- ... ing.16919/

I'll fuss around with it while I lick my wounds and wait for bit delivery. It'd be great if someone made Mu style panels where the black part was anodized.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:53 pm

@nateflanigan
Don't be afraid to read up on making and sharpening engraving bits. Once you understand them they're REALLY simple to make and sharpen.
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by nateflanigan » Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:01 am

Don't be afraid to read up on making and sharpening engraving bits. Once you understand them they're REALLY simple to make and sharpen.
Oh I'm not throwing it out or anything, I was planning on ordering some other bits any how.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by Delta T » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:40 pm

nateflanigan wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 8:41 pm
Yeah I'm super curious about that, does powder coat need to be applied to bare aluminum?
That would work best however you can apply over a previous powder coat layer - you need to be careful of the temp used on the second coat (or exposure time with a laser). There are people who powder coat glass - the trick is to have your ground electrode inside the object and that your voltage is high enough. Then once applied carefully move the glass to your oven and bake.

WRT applying on a panel for laser etching, you need to be careful that no air is blowing on the panel or your coat will blow everywhere. Also, using a tube based laser is probably not a good idea as the high voltage supply and on the tube may attract ‘unwanted attention’ from the powder... ;)

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by jimfowler » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:13 pm

http://www.antaresinc.net/FactCF.html

This I found helpful w/ regard to in-filling.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by MuadMusic » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:52 am

nateflanigan wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:41 pm
anyone reading this is SURELY familiar with a simple idea ballooning into a whole room full of synths.
LOL! I've been thinking about this same topic during the Summer. I posted some questions in another thread on MW. Thanks for documenting what you've found. This thread is moving well beyond what the other thread (where ever it was) had provided.

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by devinw1 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:25 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:09 pm
Jay, Diode lasers like those used here fade in power over time and are subject to the same kinds of failures as LEDs.

So much of the answer will hinge on how well issues like electrical power quality and stability, cooling<--A BIG one, type of use. continuous vs. pulsed and the circuit doing the pulsing.

But used with care Laser diodes in this W range will easily outlast the higher powered glass-tubed CO2 types. Synrad's patented metal tube has the best life in this class. and is most expensive. You'll find them in the better commercial office copier sioze lasers from epilog and universal, among others.

25 years ago you were likely using a flowing gas CO2 laser which would have had a fairly short lifetime before rebuild.

But all lasers degrade in power output over time. Not to mention that other important component in this field, the optics. That's a whole 'nother discussion!

Depends hugely on the diode itself too. The site I work for is primarily doing diode based modules and systems. We life test many types of diodes for thousands of hours. Some are much better than others, even within the same wavelength and power. Lately a problem is finding anyone who can make a decent 785.

I suspect these $200 Chinese lasers are not using thr $1000 Nichia diodes for example.. :d

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by KSS » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:31 am

Good points, devinw 1!

Like I often say, Details matter!
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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by MuadMusic » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:00 pm

KSS wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:54 pm
CSx4 over D is your friend. If you have only the one cutter, figure this out sooner than later.
English please ... I can tell this is sage advice. I can't begin to tell you what you're trying to tell me (us).

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by devinw1 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:38 pm

(Cutting Speed X 4 / D) = RPM

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Re: Making your own panels with a desktop CNC

Post by MuadMusic » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:31 pm

nateflanigan wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:09 pm
This picture was something I did yesterday or the day before (who knows, time has no meaning)
LOL!
They burn/cut is looking great. How much did you pay for this setup?

Also, for KSS - clearly you know this stuff. Nate is getting to a functional point (based on the pictures) for the engraving. How can he move to the point of drilling the holes (not just pilot holes).

Alternately, do you have a recommended, entry level ($$$) actual product recommendation for this concept of Panel making with a desktop CNC machine?

thanks for considering these newbie questions.

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