(Topic ID: 327433)

Laser engraving & cutting for pinball

By 8bitrobo

1 year ago


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  • 110 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by 8bitrobo
  • Topic is favorited by 42 Pinsiders

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    There are 110 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 1 year ago

    It depends on a lot of factors really. What would be the max size and thickness of what you want to cut? Acrylic is super easy to cut, but wood can vary. I would contact Omni laser and just see what they suggest for you.

    If it was me I'd go for the sub $400 pre-owned to learn and see if it is a tool that will actually be used. At $2000 I'd skip the desktop "functional" one and go bigger for a couple hundred more.

    #102 1 year ago
    Quoted from 8bitrobo:

    It depends on a lot of factors really. What would be the max size and thickness of what you want to cut? Acrylic is super easy to cut, but wood can vary. I would contact Omni laser and just see what they suggest for you.
    If it was me I'd go for the sub $400 pre-owned to learn and see if it is a tool that will actually be used. At $2000 I'd skip the desktop "functional" one and go bigger for a couple hundred more.

    Just to clarify, you must have a CO2 laser to cut clear acrylic (the less expensive diode lasers will not do it because of their wavelength).

    #103 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:

    Just to clarify, you must have a CO2 laser to cut clear acrylic (the less expensive diode lasers will not do it because of their wavelength)

    Of course. I meant the ones listed in Omni laser which were CO2.

    On the note of different types of lasers and material compatibility. Sometimes I use blue painters tape on the c02 or diode lasers with low power to preview a etch. My work also has a fiber laser and this trick wouldn't work. Nothing would ever etch on the tape, which made sense because it wasn't metal. Last week I had a really tough etch on a large curved aluminum part that need to be on the money. I tried the painters tape in the fiber laser, and to my surprise is worked perfectly. This was a different (cheaper) brand of tape and I'm not sure why it worked, but very thankful it did.

    #104 1 year ago
    Quoted from 8bitrobo:

    Of course. I meant the ones listed in Omni laser which were CO2.
    On the note of different types of lasers and material compatibility. Sometimes I use blue painters tape on the c02 or diode lasers with low power to preview a etch. My work also has a fiber laser and this trick wouldn't work. Nothing would ever etch on the tape, which made sense because it wasn't metal. Last week I had a really tough etch on a large curved aluminum part that need to be on the money. I tried the painters tape in the fiber laser, and to my surprise is worked perfectly. This was a different (cheaper) brand of tape and I'm not sure why it worked, but very thankful it did.

    Sorry, didn't mean to insult your laser intelligence. You obviously have experience with them.

    8 months later
    #105 4 months ago

    Would it be possible to engrave in actuall steel pinballs?

    #106 4 months ago
    Quoted from Kungen:

    Would it be possible to engrave in actuall steel pinballs?

    Not with a CO2 or diode laser. You need a fiber laser.

    You can use a spray called cermark (or various diy alternatives) to sinter molybdenum onto the surface but that wouldn't work with a pinball as it sits on top of the surface and will affect ball rolling. It's only a few thou, but it's still a few thou

    #107 4 months ago
    Quoted from Kungen:

    Would it be possible to engrave in actuall steel pinballs?

    I tried with a marking laser at work. Yes you can engrave them but it doesn’t leave a smooth surface.

    So not putting it in a machine.

    I work in the applications lab at IPG Photonics

    #108 4 months ago

    I tried cutting my latest homebrew playfield with my works 100w laser instead of a CNC. I'm pretty happy with the results. 1/2in Baltic birch. It took me a couple of test cuts to dial in the settings to cut all the way through the wood.

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    #109 4 months ago
    Quoted from 8bitrobo:

    I tried cutting my latest homebrew playfield with my works 100w laser instead of a CNC. I'm pretty happy with the results. 1/2in Baltic birch. It took me a couple of test cuts to dial in the settings to cut all the way through the wood.
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Very cool! One pass? Is your laser big enough to fit the whole thing on the bed or did you have to do it in two halves? If the latter how did you index it to get it lined up properly for the second half?

    #110 4 months ago

    2 passes and it has to go really slow. It probably takes about the same time as using a CNC. The laser wasn't big enough for the whole thing. I did 2/3 first then moved it. I used Lightburn and it won't do anything outside the work area. So instead of a rectangle I had two C shaped cuts. On the end of the cut I had a line continue about a half inch in length on the outside of the playfield. I used that line to set up for the next half of the cut. I wasn't sure how well it would work at first, but it ended up being really easy.

    There are 110 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.

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