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-   -   laser marking bottle caps (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/laser-marking-bottle-caps-63531/)

tranceamerica 04-22-2008 03:37 PM

laser marking bottle caps
 
Ok, we have a laser cutter in our office, so I tried laser marking my bottle caps - to identify the beer later, w/o a label.

first, I cut a piece of cardboard with 60 holes in it - 1 5/16" dia.

the bottle caps fit into these holes

Then, I loaded up my drawing (all drawings made in autocad, FWIW) with the artwork on it

put 60 bottle caps into the holes

ran the artwork

discovered that:

1) the type of bottle cap mattered. I had 3 different types (all gold caps, but slightly different finishes) The ones that worked the best were the "bright gold" ones w/almost an aluminum anodized finish. The bright/shiny ones and ones that are almost sliver didn't work so well - marking didn't show up so well on the bright shiny ones, and it sorta oxadized (got crud on it) on the silvery ones.

(hope that makes some sense?)

2) I'm worried that the caps will get dirty - the laser isn't exactly clean. I put a piece of clean cardboard under the caps (and of course, they will get sanitized before use...but still..

3) it was hard to register the caps - my hole should probably have been 1.25", and I should have used something thicker than cardboard - maybe 1/4" thick wood - to register the caps with. so, my markings were sorta off to the side.

end result though, is a more professional looking cap. I'll be trying this again w/changes. I'll take some photos that time for all to see.

IrregularPulse 04-22-2008 03:51 PM

The different material caps will also mark ok, you just need to configure the laser setting for each material and mark them in batches of the same materials. I am a service engineer for a laser marking company. I travel around installing, training, and servicing our lasers. Only 5-100 watt systems. I used our 10 Watt Fiber laser for my last batch of caps. What Brand/type laser you using?

We have Fiber,Co2,Diode Pumped, and Yag. Working with Green for future endeavors.

bigjohnmilford 04-22-2008 03:54 PM

That sounds like alot of work for so-so results. Do you think the heat from the laser might mess up the seal?

Revvy 04-22-2008 03:55 PM

I hate you I hate you I hate you!!!

(For being able to do something cool like that!):D


I hope you figure it out and can post pictures...I think it is a brilliant , unique idea, if you can get it to work!

:mug:

Melana 04-22-2008 05:00 PM

Can you post up some pictures? Sounds like a cool idea though!

Sir Humpsalot 04-22-2008 05:12 PM

Pictures!!!!!!!!!!

tranceamerica 04-22-2008 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigjohnmilford
That sounds like alot of work for so-so results. Do you think the heat from the laser might mess up the seal?

I don't think so. I kept the heat low, and probably would have had better results w/higher heat. I'll do more experiments soon. I'll do some pics soon too, even of the cruddy results...

we have a VersaLaser 3.50 w/a 50 watt laser. It has a 12x24 bed, which fits 60 caps no problem. It's a bit of work, but like everything in this hobby, it's fun for me...=)

IrregularPulse 04-22-2008 05:32 PM

Never heard of VeraLaz. Any idea what kind of laser(Yag, Co2,..). I'll try and remember to post pics. I'd like to get some colored anodized caps. or Stainless caps Where can you get cool caps??

tranceamerica 04-22-2008 05:45 PM

here's a scan of the 3 different types of caps.

http://www.splankin.com/images/caps.jpg

the top cap was most successful - you could see the image very well, and had good contrast. the center cap (old, rusty and I probably shouldn't use it anyway) didn't mark well at all - and the bottom one also was a bit hard to see.

Probably would have had better luck w/ turning up the laser strength a bit. I'll do some more experiments, to see if I can get the star to center in the cap, and get the laser set up correctly. Then, I'll post a tutorial.

tranceamerica 04-22-2008 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrregularPulse
Never heard of VeraLaz. Any idea what kind of laser(Yag, Co2,..). I'll try and remember to post pics. I'd like to get some colored anodized caps. or Stainless caps Where can you get cool caps??

versa laser is made by universal laser systems. it has a CO2 laser.


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