Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt



Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby echodeluxe » Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:19 pm

We had the brilliant idea of purchasing a table top CNC engraver and custom engraving our Escape Velocity enclosures. While the result was gorgeous, it was so fucking expensive and time consuming I couldn't believe it.

The mill had to be slowed down enough so we weren't breaking bits, but then the enclosure took 45 minutes to finish. Then, we only got about 5 enclosures finished before a bit would break, and the bits were like $35 a piece. This is after it took me about two weeks to figure out the cad/mill program and got it calibrated to work properly and make it repeatable.

So, I decided that with the relaunch, we will be doing away with the engraved enclosures for now. Maybe some time in the future it will make sense, but right now I'm more concerned with good design and reliability than engraving.

Here's what it looked like:

Image

I actually have the last one listed in the BST forum if anyone wants a piece of Wattson history. We only made a very limited quantity of the engraved overdrives, so there aren't many out in the world.

All that being said, I'm really excited about the aesthetic direction we are moving toward. Can't wait to share with you guys!
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby multi_s » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:02 pm

echodeluxe wrote:We had the brilliant idea of purchasing a table top CNC engraver and custom engraving our Escape Velocity enclosures. While the result was gorgeous, it was so fucking expensive and time consuming I couldn't believe it.

The mill had to be slowed down enough so we weren't breaking bits, but then the enclosure took 45 minutes to finish. Then, we only got about 5 enclosures finished before a bit would break, and the bits were like $35 a piece. This is after it took me about two weeks to figure out the cad/mill program and got it calibrated to work properly and make it repeatable.

All that being said, I'm really excited about the aesthetic direction we are moving toward. Can't wait to share with you guys!


Are these the typical pressed alu cases under that nice finish? If so, what router do you have? Not trying to dissuade you from changing it up or anything but we also engrave in house with a fairly inexpensive table top router and i have it down to about 3-5 mins/piece depending on the amount of engraving. I can use 600mmmin (~24 ipm?) feed rate ok, no coolant. Feeds and speeds is a bit of a pain in the ass to figure out, but all to say better than the times you quoted are likely possible on the machine you have should you ever venture back....

looking forward to see whatever you try next!
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby echodeluxe » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:04 pm

multi_s wrote:
echodeluxe wrote:We had the brilliant idea of purchasing a table top CNC engraver and custom engraving our Escape Velocity enclosures. While the result was gorgeous, it was so fucking expensive and time consuming I couldn't believe it.

The mill had to be slowed down enough so we weren't breaking bits, but then the enclosure took 45 minutes to finish. Then, we only got about 5 enclosures finished before a bit would break, and the bits were like $35 a piece. This is after it took me about two weeks to figure out the cad/mill program and got it calibrated to work properly and make it repeatable.

All that being said, I'm really excited about the aesthetic direction we are moving toward. Can't wait to share with you guys!


Are these the typical pressed alu cases under that nice finish? If so, what router do you have? Not trying to dissuade you from changing it up or anything but we also engrave in house with a fairly inexpensive table top router and i have it down to about 3-5 mins/piece depending on the amount of engraving. I can use 600mmmin (~24 ipm?) feed rate ok, no coolant. Feeds and speeds is a bit of a pain in the ass to figure out, but all to say better than the times you quoted are likely possible on the machine you have should you ever venture back....

looking forward to see whatever you try next!


yeah, pretty standard hammond style enclosures. we used coolant and the feed rate was pretty slow. not too slow to bind up or get too hot, but the fastest i could get it without breaking a bit.

any advice would be super rad, i would definitely consider trying it again in the future.

as an aside, i am such a huge fan of the count to 5. currently trying to figure out how to budget one into my life. so damn cool.
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby multi_s » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:49 pm

echodeluxe wrote:yeah, pretty standard hammond style enclosures. we used coolant and the feed rate was pretty slow. not too slow to bind up or get too hot, but the fastest i could get it without breaking a bit.

any advice would be super rad, i would definitely consider trying it again in the future.

as an aside, i am such a huge fan of the count to 5. currently trying to figure out how to budget one into my life. so damn cool.


Ya definitely hit me up if you want via email if you try again. We moved workspaces recently and I finally have the cnc back up (I have 2 actually), soon I will be engraving for the current run so maybe i can make you some videos of the setup etc when we get there, with whatever comments I can provide. I found a lot of info online in general but also there is not that much regarding "pressed" aluminum, other than it is not a pleasure to machine. I really didn't know shit about cnc stuff when i bought my first cnc and also spent a lot of time breaking bits and getting poor results, it's always improving though, slowly. All to say i can definitely relate to your frustration when I read your post. It is also a lot of effort even when it works compared to i imagine silk screening, it's just that it can work better than i get the impression it is for you.
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby echodeluxe » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:47 pm

wow that is very generous of you, thank you. i will email you soon, as im trying to decide on screenprinting or something else.
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby echodeluxe » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:55 pm

multi_s wrote:
echodeluxe wrote:yeah, pretty standard hammond style enclosures. we used coolant and the feed rate was pretty slow. not too slow to bind up or get too hot, but the fastest i could get it without breaking a bit.

any advice would be super rad, i would definitely consider trying it again in the future.

as an aside, i am such a huge fan of the count to 5. currently trying to figure out how to budget one into my life. so damn cool.


Ya definitely hit me up if you want via email if you try again. We moved workspaces recently and I finally have the cnc back up (I have 2 actually), soon I will be engraving for the current run so maybe i can make you some videos of the setup etc when we get there, with whatever comments I can provide. I found a lot of info online in general but also there is not that much regarding "pressed" aluminum, other than it is not a pleasure to machine. I really didn't know shit about cnc stuff when i bought my first cnc and also spent a lot of time breaking bits and getting poor results, it's always improving though, slowly. All to say i can definitely relate to your frustration when I read your post. It is also a lot of effort even when it works compared to i imagine silk screening, it's just that it can work better than i get the impression it is for you.


I emailed ya!
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby Hyphen Nation » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:06 am

If you can make it work for your, the engraved case is sooo nice looking.
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby echodeluxe » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:47 am

Hyphen Nation wrote:If you can make it work for your, the engraved case is sooo nice looking.


indeed it is. however, we have some really cool stuff coming that also looks really fantastic.
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby Jesus Was a Robot » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:47 am

Yea dude that shit looks dope as fuck! I just sold my laser which did engraving but not like this.
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Re: Engraving in-house is a pain in the butt

Postby echodeluxe » Wed Nov 04, 2015 2:53 pm

i want a laser.
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