Introduction: Engraving Titanium With Trotec Speedy 300 Laser
You can alter the color of Titanium. The laser is just a precise application of heat. Heat changes the layer of oxidation on titanium. Certain temperatures can cause different colors.
I made this in Techshop.
Step 1: Create Image
I created the image I wanted to engrave in Adobe Photoshop. You can use whatever image editing software you want. I saved it as a Jpeg and imported it into Corel Draw. Make sure the colors are RGB values so they can be translated by Corel and Job Control. As you can see, I have three distinct colors.
Once you have imported the image and confirmed the colors are RGB, go to FILE > PRINT and choose Trotec Speedy 300 as the printer.
Step 2: Job Control Settings
Once in Job Control, choose the metal: Aluminum Anodized settings. We are going to tweak these settings.
As you can see in my screen cap, the colors were somewhat altered by Job Control. So I chose the corresponding colors. Now I was testing out settings so you may want to tweak these settings to get the desired results.
From personal experience, Titanium changes colors under certain temperatures. I would use a propane torch and heat titanium to give it a rainbow coloring. This can be done with the laser and direct onto the bare titanium.
The settings I used are:
Yellow: Power 100 Speed 20 PPI 500
Red: Power 100 Speed 15 PPI 500
Black: Power 100 Speed 8 PPI 500
Step 3: Place Your Object in the Laser
Put your piece of Titanium in the Laser Bed. Align the laser and check the focal height.
I prefer to position the visible laser at the top center of my object and drag my image, in Job Control, to the laser position.
I recommend taping the object down as the motion of the laser can cause vibration and make the object move. In my case, my titanium spork shifted position as the laser moved.
Step 4: Laser Away!!
Here is a video of the laser engraving into my titanium spork.
There is a spray called CerMark that some people use. However CerMark has a different result on metal. You spray it on the metal and the laser heats up the chemical and creates a black image. I wanted the coloring effect which you can see in the image above. That is what I was trying to replicate.
For more information about the laser and to find a Techshop near you, go to http://www.techshop.ws/
7 years ago on Introduction
This looks amazing! We're definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for the great share!
8 years ago
Nick, found this instructable very interesting. I would very much like to be able to do this work. Do you know if anything more economical than the Speedy 300 ($24k) would work as well? Would this require a fiber laser or would CO2 work? Any advise would be appreciated. John
Reply 8 years ago on Introduction
What you need is heat, localized, and quick. Fiber would be best, but the speedy 300 is still CO2, just RF, and I think that particular one is 120 peak watts. If you had a quick machine at around 60+ watts, you may be able to have a go at it. On our in house 45w (peak) it was hard to try and replicate on another piece that nick was doing (He's VP here at Azzy's Design Works)
Reply 8 years ago on Introduction
Thank you very much for your reply and advice. It is appreciated!
9 years ago on Introduction
Extra passes, as we found, can change color if you arent happy with a first pass. or remove the anno layer. Go slow, and practice first.
Reply 8 years ago
Just left a comment for Nick. Any equipment advise for someone wanting to do this work?