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Laser friendly model material


#1

Maybe someone has found this material, which for me is more of a
day-dream than a reality. Most of my models for casting are made of
silver, but silver is not ideal for laser welding. Gold or platinum
weld much better, but you had better have deep pockets if you are
going to make your models of those materials, just for the advantage
of easier lasering. What I would love to find is a base metal that
casts as easily as 14K gold and welds as easily as platinum. Of
course it also should be available in all gauges and shapes of wire
and sheet. Wishful thinking I know, but it would also be nice if it
cost less than sterling. Any ideas?

Stephen Walker


#2

Non-magnetic stainless steel has many of the desired properties for
model making; cheap, available in many guages, easy to weld and
solder. It may be tougher to work with but that property can be an
advantage.

Lead free pewter or 97% tin/copper alloy is another. I have achieved
good welds using a pulse arc welder at low power, but no comparison
to the complete penetration and finesse of a hot hatchet soldering
iron. Worth exploring with a laser!

Cheers, Alastair