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Laser Engraver for model making


#1

Does anyone have experience using a laser engraver to make models
for casting? I have researched them and do not understand why they
are not widely used in the jewelry industry for model work. I
currently use photopolymers and getting good negatives is a pain
using a laser printer. Desktop laser engravers even 12 watt models
seem to have capabilities for 2D and limited 3D cutting and
engraving on wood and plastic that can be burnt out and cast.

These machines are as simple as a printer and only cost about $7000.
The time they would save would pay for one real quick.

Looking forward to your reply.

Thanks…Richard Olson
OlsonDesign Jewelers


#2

Richard,

Does anyone have experience using a laser engraver to make models
for casting? 

Laser engravers are being used quite extensively for just that
application in India and China, this began a few years ago and is
rapidly being adopted by numerous manufactures.

Regards,
James McMurray


#3

Hi Richard.

One of the main reasons why desktop laser engravers are no widely
used to make models for casting, as you say it, is their limited 3D
capabilities.

Desktop laser engravers are great for making 2-1/2D models like name
pendants.

There are laser engravers with full 3D capabilities but they are
very expensive. A 3D laser engraver for metal costs over $ 100K.

A good option to make models for casting is a desktop CNC, 4 axis. A
good 4-axis CNC’s costs around $ 11,000 K.

Ernie
www.cadforjewelry.com


#4

Richard

I currently use photopolymers and getting good negatives is a pain
using a laser printer.

We’ve been using a LaserJet 4 with Transparencies for Laser Printers
to make our negatives for over 10 years with very good results for
making photopolymer patterns and dies.

Here are three things you may want to try. Most 600 dpi laser
printers have enough toner density. If not, you can put two identical
negatives in register with each other to increase the density. The
more expensive option is a product called Laser Buddy that is an
acetone based spray that increases the density of negatives made on a
1200 dpi laser printer. Since it’s acetone based it MUST be used in a
well ventilated area.

Rod Grantham
www.granthams.com