Category: Laser Cutter

All the Smaug related posts

laser etched rubber stamps

Adventure in Rubber Stamp Making

So Ace is working on a holiday card and we need rubber stamps for some of the art. This is the tale of making rubbers stamps including all the mistakes on our 100w CO2 Laser.

Materials used

  • Scrap wood
  • Gorilla Spray Glue
  • Craft Foam
  • Art Ink pads
  • Laser Engravable Rubber Polymer, low odor, from rubber-stamp.com

The artwork

The artwork… that is the first place things went wonky but I didn’t realize it until I cut. I had forgotten that engraving needed an outer boundary in order to drop out the right stuff. Check out these screenshots. Everything black in these images will be burned away.

The thing to remember with vector laser files, LaserSoft, and rubber stamps is:

  • Mirror the art
  • Set an outer boundary for the etching
  • The outer boundary is the same as the cut line so you will need one object to be the boundary and one object on another layer to be the cut line.
laser art
In this file, I forgot to put an outer boundary for the vector etching and that means all the white bits between the pink cut line and the inner art is what will print when I stamp it. Not ideal.
Laser art
In this one most of the art is correct and all the inner graphics that are white will print. The only thing that is wonk is the white gap between the pink cut line and the etching. That is easily solved though post-laser with a pair of scissors.
bad rubber stamp
Opps… etched away the thing I wanted to stamp.
laser etched rubber stamps
The actual art I wanted to stamp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the results from the two files. As you can see the art in the first file didn’t match the intention.

Testing and getting the right settings down

The laser polymer comes with some settings but they are for much lower wattage lasers than ours.

settings from laser package

It took a bunch of test etching to get to settings that worked. I used a focus range for etching. These are the settings we finally settled on:

  • Cutting: 15/90/87
  • Etching: 150/80/78 (make sure to turn on grade engrave)

Putting it together and what I learned about glue

So I cut the outlines out of some scrap wood and used e6000 glue to attach the rubber bit. The results were… bad.

rubber-bad-glue
Hard curled up crumbling stamps.

The final product did work out well with a layer of craft foam and using gorilla spray glue.

The post-laser etching finishing and clean up

Laser etching rubber polymer is dirty. Really dirty. When the stamps come off the laser they should be soaked in the water right away for about 10 – 15 min. then scrubbed with a soft brush.

This is what a brand new filter looked like after 8.1min. of cutting and etching laser.

Dirt filter after cutting laser polymer next to new filter material.

What a difference a lens makes

So we have been. having a great time with our new 100w Baracudda Laser from Light Object. Like any laser, there are fun times to be had with focus, and so on.

We have a slight wobble at high speeds and tight art we are fighting along with just learning what is the best default configuration for a wide community of users.

Below are a few picks today that show the difference between what I am getting with different lenses. I am cutting on 1/8 inch cabinet grade Russian birch plywood.

The one on the left was cut with a 2″ lens with these settings

  • Cut: 30/55/50
  • Partial Cut 55/12/12
  • Etch: 400/30/.1

The one on the right was cut with a 2.5″ lens with these settings

  • Cut: 30/35/30
  • Partial Cut 200/12/12
  • Etch: 600/30/.1

As you can see for the partial cut and sharp detail the 2″ lens was a way better bet.

 

Made at AMT-June 2019

NOMCOM Fob All The Things dashboard | AMT Software • Bodie/Crafty
Hand Built Speaker | Workshop • David
Recycling Game | Workshop/Laser • Bernard M.
Solid wood credenza | Workshop | Raj J.
Tiny electronic brass jewelry | Electronics | Ray A.
RFID Mint Dispensing Box | Laser+Electronics | Crafty
Wood Signage | CNC Router | James L.
Fabric Kraken stuffed with 720 LEDs | Textiles + Electronics | Crafty
nevertheless she persisited

Laser Cut Custom Jewelry

So this was an ambitious workshop where each person got to make a few pieces of custom laser cut jewelry out of wood or leather.

We learned a lot at this workshop. With a bit of restructuring, I would be interested in doing this again. All proceeds went to the new serger fund.

laser cut oakland tree pendants
Oakland tree
Makers
Cutting Leather
leather stars
Red leather bracelet with etched Oakland skyline
Oakland Sky
hands scrubbing pink leather cut like stars
laser cut folded leather earing
pile of colorful leathers