lazertran tips?

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scozbor
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lazertran tips?

Post by scozbor » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:04 pm

ok my second faceplate went a little better than the first but still not cool really.

I am using inkjet lazertran. It dries white (not clear).

my method>

sand down aluminum faceplate.
clean with alcohol
soak lazertran and apply to dry faceplate
try (!) and remove any bubbles
dry

then to get it clear i spray with oil based mat fixer

i am wondering if I should brush on the varnish?
it's not really getting very clear even after a few coats.
also some wrinkles which seem to be from the fixer.

any tips? :help:

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Luka
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Post by Luka » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:29 pm

post some of your results
im interested to see what how your method is working

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chinard
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Post by chinard » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:59 pm

[rant]
ok, i tried a product similar to this and i nearly destroyed my HP LaserJet
I really wish these guys would take the word 'lazer' out of their name when you cannot use them with most Laser printers..
It is dangerously misleading, and there are no warnings on the packaging that the heat will make it stick to the rollers and will gum up your paper feed.
[/rant]

not trying to hijack the conversation, just wanted to warn people before they made the same mistake i did :eek:
be very careful with these! safest bet is to stick to inkjet printers!

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zthee
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Post by zthee » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:18 am

I've done the ink jet lazertran and the original lazertran. I've got to say I got the best result with the laser version.

Problems you might get with applying the varnish with a brush is that the varnish will dissolve the ink and it'll all turn into a big greyish slush.

If you got access to a laser printer - then use that alternative and bake it in the oven.

Here's a close up of the panel i baked on saturday :) It's solid as a rock - I can scratch it with my nails as hard as I like and it doesn't leave a mark!

Image
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Post by DGTom » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:15 am

:jawdrop:

:yay:

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otherunicorn
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Post by otherunicorn » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:01 am

clearly i need you to make my panels for me... :)

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Luka
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Post by Luka » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:15 am

they look amazing zthree, always been a fan of your designs
welcome aboard

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zthee
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Post by zthee » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:50 am

Otherunicorn, That would be an honour! :)
Luca, Thanks!

It says on the lazertran site that you should preheat the paper, if you're doing it the laser printer way - I tried that and ended up with something that had fused itself with the back paper. Not so good. So I tried without preheating and it worked very well!

Though do the whole thing slowly!
I took me about 3 hours.

I actually placed the ready alu plate in the oven before turning it on. So the temperature difference wouldn't skew the panel. First 1 hour with the oven set to the lowest possible (about 50C). Then I raized the temperature every 15 to 20 minutes for as small step as possible, and after 2 more hours it was at 200 degrees. And then I turned the oven off, and left it to cool for 3 more hours.. I think I could have stayed maybe 15 more minutes on the 200C mark, but I was in a hurry at that point. But I'm gonna make more panels so I'll try it then and see if i get a better result!
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flight
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Post by flight » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:00 am

I found the preheating the paper trick to work pretty well. You just have to keep the temperature below 200°F/93°C.
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zthee
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Post by zthee » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:15 am

That's what I did - tried to keep it at a 100C. Had a tip from a friend to look for when the toner goes blank. But it never happened - and instead it got all burned and fused with the paper. Though I kept it in the oven for waaay to long, hoping it would go blank after a while. So I guess that threw me off.

Though I didn't use any of the recommended laser printers on the Lazertran webiste. Can't remember the model - it was an old HP. I think it might be running a bit to hot. But since it works, I guess it's OK!
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Post by Dego » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:06 am

Zthee: Great work! :hail: :hail: :hail: :sb: :sb: :sb:

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Post by flight » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:27 pm

From what I've experimented with, 180°F/82°C is really the best temp for my HP color Laserjet 2550N when using original Lazertran.
If the oven is preheated, it shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes.
One thing to be careful about, which can cause problems: You have to suspend the sheet somehow! If it touches the rack, it won't melt!
Steel has a much faster thermal transfer rate than paper, so it wicks the heat away.
I had noticed that when I just laid the sheet on the rack, there were lines of un-melted toner immediately over the rack. I tried just shifting the paper a bit to melt those areas, but the toner must have set somehow, and it would never melt to match the areas that melted the first go 'round.
So I rigged up a frame out of some wood dowels to keep the paper off the rack and it worked beautifully.
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zthee
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Post by zthee » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:42 pm

Great tip! :party:

I'll try that next time - 180°C and 5 min! :)
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Post by parasitk » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:52 pm

Very nice looking panels! I followed the URL of the pic and checked out the others - :sb:

I have no idea what you guys are talking about technically (seeing as i dont know how lazertran works, really), but lookig at this it seems like a pretty solid way to make panel graphics... hmmmm

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flight
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Post by flight » Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:03 pm

It's just a sheet of plastic glued to some paper. The glue is water-based and dissolves when you soak it. You just run the sheet through the printer, soak it in water 'til the plastic separaqtes, then lay the plastic on whatever surface you want.

That's the principle anyway, the details are always the gotchas.
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Post by DGTom » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:33 pm

Love the graphics for the CGS Pulse Divider / Logic zthee :love:

*cheeky question* What did you use for the Quad Function Generator?

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flight
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Post by flight » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:05 pm

@ zthee: um, 180°F
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Post by zthee » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:30 am

DGTom: The Quad Function Generator is the 281 clone project from electro-music.com! I had 2 boards built the last run, and it's my favorite module of all time!

flight: Thanks! Could've gone kinda wrong there :D
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Post by flight » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:14 am

"We don't need no water let the motherfucker burn,
burn motherfucker,
burn"
:flamey:
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zthee
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Post by zthee » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:18 am

:lol:

I wanted to try lazertran as an etch resist - like it says on the site. But pouring isopropyl alcohol on the panel did nothing.

Anyone else had any success with it?
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Post by flight » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:25 am

You have to use 99% alcohol and rub it down baby, put some stank on it!
(It takes a bit of rubbing, just don't rub off the toner.)
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zthee
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Post by zthee » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:34 am

Got to try it when after I'm done with the drilling!

Next time I'm paying for the CNC though... :doh:
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Post by flight » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:02 am

Get a hand punch. More on that here: viewtopic.php?t=2194

If you're going to do more than a couple though, cough up the dough and get a GOOD punch from Roper-Whitney
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zthee
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Post by zthee » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:04 pm

Thanks for the tip!
But a friend of mine is building a CNC machine, hopefully he'll have it done to summer! - but the punch machines look sooo damn hot! I kinda want one just becuase 8)
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Post by flight » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:19 pm

The punches are freaking handy to have. I use mine all the time, and not just on panels. Since the "Jr." goes down to 3/32", you can use it to knock out a quick screw hole in a PCB or what have you. Even better, I'm going to get a rack & pinion bench press (like an arbor press, but not) and order some special punches and dies from Roper Whitney - they have number-drill-sized punches, all the way down to 32mil! That's a #67 drill, one of the more common PCB drill sizes. No more drilling PCBs and filling the place with dust, just punch! That would save so much time and money when prototyping.
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