Everyone loves metal.
From name plates for corporate fat cats to monogrammed brass monocles for burning-man bums everyone has a use for some laser inked metal.
Put the two together and you can get some really cool results. You don't need a super powerful laser to mark on metal if you use a metal marking ink. In this Instructable I'll go over how to use Adobe Illustrator+RetnaEngrave+Cermark to make some cool designs on metal. This can be useful for all sorts of things, from making simple desk nameplates, to large signs, and all designs in between.
"I made it at TechShop"
Techshop is a great place for this project. They have all the necessary equipment and come readily equipped with eager admirers once you show them how awesome laser inked metal can be!
You can check out our other projects at smithallenstudio.com
Step 1: The right stuff
Unfortunatly it's not that cheap. There are a ton of instructions out there to other products that work for marking metals, and depending on the product and the base metal they may work okay. We tried a bunch of stuff on a bunch of different substrates and you really do get what you pay for. Our advice: get the right stuff.
So you will need:
A vector based drawing program (Adobe Illustrator, Rhino, AutoCAD, etc)
1 laser engraver (Full Spectrum Laser 36x24 used here)
1 can of Cermark (LMM-6000)
1 sheet of metal to be marked (6061 aluminum shown here) (McMasterCarr or equiv)
rubbing alcohol+paper towels
nitrile gloves (optional)
plywood to make jigs (optional)