Building A Fixed Object Laser engraving Machine

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by navino87, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. navino87

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    15
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    Hello everyone, I don't know if its even possible to make such machine by oneself.. First let me introduce myself. I am a small time shoe manufacturer. We make leather shoes to some European company. As per their latest design, The brand name has to be engraved on the part of the leather shoe. When inquired about the cost of a laser machine, I came to know it costs a bomb. So, thought why not make one by myself. Though i don't have any knowledge about this, I am a kinda person who loves machine and believes in himself that he could really make one :rolleyes:..

    Ok, Here is what i need. I need to engrave on a leather piece with a brand name. Say, I wanna engrave "navino87" in a piece of leather. Is it possible to make such machine? The point is i don't have any prior knowledge about this machine. And i am a newbie in building a machine. But i am sure, If the experts here guide me, I cam make one.

    TY

    -Navin
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,415
    3,354
    Sure, it's doable. But it wouldn't be easy, even for someone who is already knowledgeable and capable.
    What does a commercial unit cost?
     
  3. navino87

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2012
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    A small machine from Italy with an 80 - 100 Watt Laser that can do engraving work costs at best 25.000 Euro :eek:
     
  4. spankey666

    Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    91
    3
    for engraving leather, i would have thought a 40w laser would be more than sufficient. I'm in the process of building one, and the parts are readily available on ebay, although software choices, stepper motors etc can be a bit confusing.
    Theres lots of cheap chinese machines on ebay, which seem to do the job, although there are a few companies that produce a DSP board to retrofit to these machines to make them more stable and flexible
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=laser+engraver&_sacat=0

    Google diy laser cnc and there are umpteen forums on the subject , with useful advice on both hardware building and software.
     
  5. navino87

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    15
    0
    Is it even possible to make a fixed image laser engraver?? I dont wanna make a complicated moving arm CNC like machine. I just want the laser to engrave a fixed name on the leather say "NAVIN!". Is this practically possible??

    TY
     
  6. spankey666

    Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    91
    3
    if you are thinking of a fixed laser with the mirror moving to burn your image, its going to be far more difficult if not impossible ( as keeping the focal length accurate) than a simple 2 axis gantry style design. if you search, some have made them from old inkjet printers and DVD lasers which could easily be adapted for bigger lasers.
    something to think about, a 40w laser is nearly a meter long .
     
  7. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Get a metal die engraved professionally with your name/logo, then heat up the metal die on the end of something like a soldering iron and press it on the shoeleather.

    It is very quick and makes a very nice looking makers mark, and *embosses the shape into the leather* and is a system used by leather people for hundreds of years.

    Messing with a CNC laser is a dumb way to do it unless you need to burn lots of different marks like batch numbers, dates etc.
     
    Georacer likes this.
  8. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    What THE_RB said.

    You cannot do without a CNC mount for your lazer. It cannot be hand-held.

    A ready made, amateur CNC mount with the motors, for, say, a 10x10cm working area will cost at about 400-500 euros. BUT this is for very small drills and I believe an engraving lazer is a much heavier piece of equipment.

    If you move up a scale and choose a bigger mount, for a 50x50cm working area, it could support the lazer, but the cost rizes up to 1500 euros.

    In any case, even if the mount comes preassembled it isn't simple nor predetermined how you will fit the lazer, align it and link it to the controller's relays, so that the software can operate it.

    I suggest you explore your options a bit further.
     
  9. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,135
    1,786
    I'm not sure that it would be practical to build such a thing. Even if you could pull together the mechanics and the electronics, there is still the software to consider. It takes considerable knowledge of physics to accelerate, run, and decelerate motors of either the stepper or servo variety. Then there are issues of open loop or closed loop, and as if that were not enough there are issues in describing to such a machine how to make letters in various fonts and graphics. I don't think I could do this again for anything approaching 25,000 Euros. My machine was not a laser cutter, but a diamond drag tool for metal and a single fluted cutter for plastic laminate.
     
  10. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,415
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    What a coincidence! The lab next door just received a smacking brand new Epilog Helix 75W laser cutter.

    Too bad, doesn't work for making PCBs.
     
  11. navino87

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    15
    0
    We got ourselves few embossing machines.. But the thing is that they don't make engraving marks on the leather, instead they just give a lasting embossing/debossing effect on the leather. One of Our customer insist on doing laser work their brand name and logo on few models of their shoes..

    @ all : Thanks everyone for your advice. Guess building a laser engraver for a newbie is next to impossible. So, will stick to job work for time being. In the mean time could you guys recommend me some reliable Chinese laser machine makers. so as to see if things works out for me..

    TY
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  12. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    If you heat the embossing die it will burn or darken the embossed logo, which will look a lot like a laser marked logo.

    For laser marking, unless you want to spend big money you can just farm it out and pay someone to do the laser marking. Most trophy shops etc do laser marking and engraving and will do small quantities.
     
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