Laser Marking Stainless Steel




Introduction: Laser Marking Stainless Steel

I made this @ Techshop

Using the laser cutter @ Techshop Chandler I was able to personalize my own drinking bottle. I customized it with my name and employer's logo. Which was smart, the first day I took it to work everybody wanted one.

Step 1: Supplies Needed

  1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle
  2. Digital Calipers
  3. CRC Dry Moly Lube
  4. Isopropyl Alcohol

Cermark is designed for marking metals using a laser cutter, but it is very expensive. I researched and found that someone had a less expensive alternative. A can of CRC Dry Moly Lube is about $13 for a spray can, compared to $60+ for Cermark. I thought it was worth a try.

Step 2: Prepare Bottle

Using the digital calipers I found the circumference of the water bottle, which is the diameter * Pi (3.14). This is needed for designing the graphics to fit, and setup laser rotary tool.

Tape any areas you don't want the Dry Moly Lube to make contact. Then spay about a minimum of 3 even coats. It drys very fast so it wont take long between coats.

Step 3: Laser the Graphics on the Bottle

Setup the laser machine for "Laser Marking Stainless Steel". Techshop Chandler has Universal Laser System 40 watt laser. The ULS software has presets for laser marking metal.

I did find that you might want to reduce the power in half and do the run twice. My bottle did warp slightly due to the heat of the laser.

After the laser is finished remove and clean the the bottle with the Isoprpyl Alcohol, this will remove the remaining coating. Tip: a magic eraser worked really good to remove the coating.

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    It is like an ink, than the laser removes the ink (art in negative). Using Cermark, the markings are made where the laser beam attack the product (art in positive). Is it right?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    For those who don't have access to a laser, but DO have a sandblaster available, very similar effects can be done by sandblasting stainless steel using a stencil.