Steel Engraver?

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
This is off the subject of ww, but I'm asking the great resource of people here if anyone can recommend a source to get a steel plate engraved with text. It's not a personal job it's my company that's looking. Any help would be greatly appreciated as usual! TIA
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
We use stamps to make stainless steel ID plates for some of our machines.
Not the most beautiful but very readable and last forever.

Most of the larger laser cutters should do this.

Betty's Country Store in Walnut Cove has a powerful one that they use to engrave rifle barrels.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
What sort of plate? is it simply mild steel? and is it decorative? how large? Im sure I could engrave on my CNC if its not too deep. Solid carbide cutters will work fine.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
Chris, after thinking more about my post, I need to explain more clearly. This would be a negative engraving. Meaning that the background needs to be machined away leaving the lettering proud by 0.025mm. Unfortunately I don't know what kind of steel the plate is, but I can ask if we can test it for hardness. The plate is around 1/4 to 3/8" thick. The area with the lettering is approximately 50mm wide by 30mm high.
 

Inarticulate

Matt
User
Michael, for marking like that you can buy a product called CerMark which you paint on the metal and then hit it with a laser which fuses only where the laser contacts. Afterwards, you wipe off the remaining paint and your letter is left behind. Might be an option for you.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
I just watched a video on CerMark. I'm not sure that will work. What we're doing with this engraving is we'll be applying ink to the letters then picking up the ink with a transfer device then stamping the ink onto Cup Masks. I think it'll be important that the background is engraved to a depth of at least 0.025mm in order for the ink to be applied to the letters only and then picked up by the transfer device without picking it up from the background. To be honest, I'm really not sure how well this system will work. Unfortunately it's a Chinese design and to me looks more like a Rube Goldberg design :)

Chris, I don't know if bead blasting will leave a clean enough lettering.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Pad printing, seen it done when I lived in Georgia.
Works great, you may need a little deeper cut .025mm is very shallow. A quarter of a mm may work better.
 

jaustin

john
Corporate Member
I might be able to help you. can you message me some more detail about it.
but need to check your depth because you gave it as .025mm which is about .001 of in. Is it supposed to be .25mm which is almost .010 of in.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
John, the 0.025mm depth is correct! Also, earlier in the thread I stated the "background" had to be engraved or machined to make the letters proud. Well, yesterday I got more information on how the system works, and in my opinion...it's the screwiest system I've ever seen! So the lettering is actually engraved to the 0.025mm depth. The steel plate has to be polished and NO burrs after the engraving. The ink well has magnetics in it with a ceramic ring on the outside. The magnets hold the ceramic ring tight to the steel plate then the ink is filled inside the well. The vessel is moved over the engraving to fill the lettering with ink then moved back. The ceramic ring wipes the ink off the plate leaving only ink in the engraving for the rubber pad to pick up and transfer to the mask. I've seen it work in videos and it appears to work well. Just don't ask me to clean up the mess when you lift the vessel and spill the ink all over the machine!
 

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