I need to find a manufacturer in Canada (preferably) that will laser
cut sheet silver and brass
I need to find a manufacturer in Canada (preferably) that will laser
Why don’t you start with these folks…! who knows you might hit
one of them
Imperial Smelting, up here in Markham, Ontario
Williams Gold, in Fort Erie, Ontario…1-800-465-3553…or
Handy and Harman 1-800-463-1465 also in Toronto, where else?
“Gerry, the Cyber-Setter!” from Toronto,Canada, eh!
Aimee, Look for a waterjet/abrasive jet cutting service. You are
more likely going to find that, than a laser service for silver.
Both silver and brass are good reflectors of infrared, so usually
don’t cut well on a laser. Something else to check into is chemical
etching, which does the same types of things but usually has a
better edge. I found a company called NewCut that does a great job
with silver and brass.
Boone Titanium Rings
Both silver and brass are good reflectors of infrared, so usually don't cut well on a laser. Something else to check into is chemical etching, which does the same types of things but usually has a better edge. I found a company called NewCut that does a great job with silver and brass.
In general you would use laser cutting on stock that is thicker than
about 1mm and photoetching/chemical milling on thinner stock.
Photoetching does not work well on thick stock on the other hand
laser cutting is not suited to fine intricate work.
Again, photoetching is usually charged by the sheet while laser
cutting is usually charged by the distance run by the laser.
So choose photoetching for intricate designs and thin stock, and
laser cutting for simpler designs in heavy stock.
Photoetching also has the ability to easily etch designs from one
side of the sheet only, which is difficult with laser cutting. This
is useful, for instance, for designs that use champleve enamels.
Engraving on silver and brass is not a problem, it is being done.
The only difference between silver and brass in comparison to say
Aluminium, is the time it takes. Brass and silver will take about
twice as long as engraving the same design into aluminium to achieve
the same depth. It is all down to the wave length that the laser
produces as to what type of material it will cut. Also I am
discussing Nd Yag and not CO2 lasers. CO2 is another animal. Bill
Bedford mentioned that laser cutting is not suited for fine
intricate work. This is not the case at all. A laser is more than
capable of producing extremely fine details.
As an example, The height and not the depth of the letters for land
of the free, home of the brave is 1mm.
Some samples in Brass. The brass strip is a 1/4 inch wide or 6.35mm.
This will give you an indication on the size of the detailed
We do a tremendous amount of 3D laser engraving which you can find
on the web site. The pieces shown where the first ones I ever did,
and the alignment of the laser was not dialed in, which is why they
are a little off centre:-(
I assumed that once the tech had setup the machine, she was ready to
go, but alas, the accuracy I wanted was not the normal for their
other customers which I found strange, but after hours of tweaking
she was eventually dialed in to allow items such as Metal Molds to
come straight off of the machining centre and into the laser for the
Two years ago I saw some very highly detailed 1:1 scale dragonflies
cut out of platinum as a demo piece by the manufacturer. I asked him
about silver and was told it was a problem. The reason he said was
silvers high thermal conductivity. My question is have you done any
detailed cutting, not engraving of sterling items? If so I would
like to talk with you at some point about a project.
James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160
Member of the Better Business Bureau
Two years ago I saw some very highly detailed 1:1 scale dragonflies cut out of platinum as a demo piece by the manufacturer. I asked him about silver and was told it was a problem. The reason he said was silvers high thermal conductivity. My question is have you done any detailed cutting, not engraving of sterling items? If so I would like to talk with you at some point about a project.
I have done 6 jobs cutting through the sheet and never again. I did
it as a freebee for a young girl starting out in Cali, Colombia, who
is the daughter of family friend. Gave her a bunch of tools and
figured I would cut her some designs to get going. Silver will Laser
engrave very nicely, and you can cut it all the way through, but to
cut through, took a looooong time. In the end, I built a pneumatic
horizontal table top plastic injection machine for her, and now I
provide her with metal molds. It took less time to cut the A-Mold
Cavity than it did to cut through the silver.
Having said that, most of the pieces I do now are in Aluminum and
the jeweller will then mold it. A very high percentage will have me
laser engrave the design to a given depth such as a medallion, and
then engrave the outline which they will follow and cut it out
themselves from the sheet. Basically, I transfer the design intent
for them to get started.
Having said that, it is a very small portion of my business
percentage wise, as the laser is mostly booked for metal mold
cavities and other production parts hence the tremendous amount of 3D
laser Engraving. 300 cavities to cut by the end of January, so right
now, I am stressed to the hilt
You might try rofin at 978-206-7466 ask for dawn
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Andy " The Tool Guy" Kroungold
Tool Sales / Technical
Phone 800-877-7777 ext. 94194
Again, Abrasive waterjet is the way to go for silver, sterling, or
for any thin material it works great. The only thing that maybe more
economical in large quantities is chemical milling (i.e. etching).
If you want cut out parts these two methods are your best bet.
My apologies for the confusion. I was on a totally different tangent
to the actual thread. I took it to be about engraving and not as
cutting through the material.
Cutting to me does not mean Profiling, but to others it may very
well do, and that’s the mistake I made.
To me, you cut a die or a hub or even a metal mold with details
usually, but any outside work is profile milling. I guess I need to
stand back and understand what is really meant by the poster, and not
what I think is meant. Not enough sleep I guess. The mention of
etching threw me also.
As James mentioned, and now that I know what page I am supposed to
be on -:), water jet is the way to go.
Remember, with water jet, you can stack multiple sheets to
profile/cut the same design out of all layers. Make sure that you
find a good shop that comprehends what happens to the tail of the
water jet. What this means is that as the jet progresses along its
path, the water jet or tail will lag behind especially in thicker
material. Big problem in corners unless they have a dynamic head on
it, so that the head will rotate and compensate for the tail lag.
Most shops will be pretty good and deliver the parts as they are
meant to be delivered, but I have had some really worthless work
done, down here in South Florida, so it is not entirely idiot proof.
A single thin sheet should not pose problems as the lag will be very
small. Even so, an incorrect feed rate and not having optimized look
ahead for slowing down into the corners, will give you a piece that
looks fantastic from the front, but you will have evidence of an over
cut on the back side in the form of a scallop. Also, check what the
orifice diameter is for the jet or rather the water jet diameter, and
remember any inside corners will have a radii corresponding to the
water jet diameter just as in machining… Do not expect sharp corners
on inside profiles.
Good Luck. If you need any help, give me a call, especially if you
are not sure about the quotes you get.