Anodized Aluminium is a very versatile material, it has high contrast when laser engraved, moderate wear resistance and is highly resistant to corrosion. This makes it a very good candidate for making signs, plaques or machine tags. Because of its high contrast once engraved, it is also perfect for barcoding and QR applications.
From experience, I’ve found that many people are unable to get the very best contrast out of this great material. Today I made a small 90x60mm interior grade plaque for my blog.
I started out using the ever trusty CorelDraw X7 software package, to create the vector graphic I wanted to engrave. I use a vector format because it can be scaled without the fear of resolution issues. For more information on vector graphics Click Here.
You can see the vector image that I created using CorelDraw X7 below.
When engraving onto anodized aluminum, it is important that the vector graphic is produced using a RGB colour palette and that the engraving colour is black (RGB value 0,0,0). This will give the most contrast when engraved.
Another important point, when engraving anodized aluminium is that the engraving must be done fast. If heat is applied for too long, the engraving will come out grey and not pure white. It will also leave banding and just look cheap if done on a low quality machine.
The Trotec Speedy 300 has an engraving speed of 355 cm / second and an acceleration of 5G’s; a must have when engraving this type of material. This is what I used to produce this plaque and I think the results speak for it’s self.
Here is a close up picture of the final product.
And finally… Here is a video of the whole process. It’s total processing time was 1 minute and 40 seconds…. at 500 dpi resolution!!!
The settings used are listed below:
- 90 power (80W CO2)
- 90 speed
- High quality engraving mode
As you can see, the final product looks uniform, has high contrast and because of the speed of the Trotec laser, it was done extremely fast. I was very impressed by the results.
Catch ya next time!