Laser Cutting Silver

Help. I am informed by my local laser cutting service that they
cannot lasercut sterling silver … or copper, or gold.

Water jet is their alternative method for silver, but the line the
jet cuts is 1.2mm wide and the cut edge not so clean as laser cut
edges on stainless.

Is this so for all laser cutting services out there? Has anyone here
successfully had laser cutting done on silver?


B r i a n � A d a m
J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r
ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND

Brian, Try a small job shop in your area running a Wire EDM machine.
Your only looking for a 2 axis machine which could be less per hour
cost than a 4 axis. Width of cut can be as small as .105 mm (.004)
wide, this is more expensive, up to .305 ( .012).

There will not be a burr on the edges of the cut material, there will
be slight discoloration that will buff away.

In the interest of cost you should have your drawing on a CAD file
that the shop can generate there cutting program from.

Best of luck,

Kevin Willis
Advantage Tool & Microweld

    Is this so for all laser cutting services out there? Has anyone
here successfully had laser cutting done on silver? 

When I was looking for someone to cut titanium, I came across a
technique called “Wire EDM”. They said they could cut to very fine
tolerances, but I didn’t ask about silver. You might check–the
company I dealt with was called Adron something–Specialties, or
Specialists or some such. I never did go that route, so, if you do,
I’d love it if you posted or emailed the results! --Noel

As long as the material has the ability to conduct electricity, the
EDM process will work on it. Since silver is the most conductive
metal, there should be no problems.

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Thanks, Kevin and all the others. I got several private replies and
many recommended EDM over laser for silver alloys. Now today I’ve
found a man here that does ‘what most of the big companies won’t do’,
and uses an old EDM machine for little medical research jobs etc.
Brilliant. I’m getting him to send up a sample shape cut from copper.
He’s willing to do a trial run for me in silver. I can email him a
DXF file and bob’s your uncle! Materials: fine sil, stg sil,
titanium, niobium, copper, etc. Thinnest: 0.25mm (with a backing).
Thickest: can stack the sheets up to 30mm high. Width of cut: 0.31mm
(compare with waterjet: 1.2mm) Sheet size: 150mm x 300mm.

How’s that?


W o r k s h o p s 2 0 0 0
Metalwerx Lecture Series Free to the Public
Brian Adam, New Zealand
“Experiences at the Borders of Jewelry”"
Thursday, July 27, 7:30-9:30

Brian we also require the services of a person whom can operate and
complete work for us by an EDM machine. I noticed that you did mention
that he cuts copper, well that’s the material that we need cut into
shapes. We would be very pleased if you could supply us details about
how we can contact him. Best regards from Heather Casey Style & Design
Australia Limited, @Lyncre_Pty_Ltd_613_5