@jarrfarr hope you come back with some good news for me!
I’m so appreciative of what everyone is contributing. Thank you, @JimHatch and @Bob_D for the sourcing suggestions. I need UV stable laserable aluminum, not just any old aluminum so that’s why this is so tricky. If only my dang laser could cut it, I would already be in business… that’s why my ears perked up when @jarrfarr said he cuts it at school with only a 30W CO2… I’m guessing there’s something missing there because as far as I know, this isn’t possible.
I’ll have to keep researching to see if I can find a supplier of custom sized laserable aluminum blanks because the dimensions are specific and industry standard so I can’t change those. Thanks, all.
I’ve been lasering for lots of years & teaching laser operations for nearly as long. I’ve never heard anyone claim that cutting even something as thin as aluminum foil was possible with a low power CO2 laser. In fact I often use it between my material & the honeycomb bed to prevent flashback. Never a slice.
Sorry for the confusion, @Bob_D … I didn’t intend for this to be a “help Christy source her Aluminum” thread. Haha. I have the Aluminum I would like to use in my shop and I just was seeking advice on bits and what it is actually like to mill Aluminum in general. Everyone has brought some interesting points to the table that I will think more about. Thanks again, everyone, for your time.
@JimHatch and @oakhillmillworks, you are both right. You can’t cut aluminum (6061 for example) on a CO2 laser cutter. This stuff Is very thin, and maybe not even pure alu, all I know is we cut it at school. Also, somebody had mentioned that it’s “Alumamark” not “Alumark”; you are correct!
Christy, I’m really sorry I couldn’t get any pics today. When I went to school, my teacher had already left and locked up for the night. I will go in early on Monday and try and get some. I found this pic online: It has been both etched and thru-cut.
I’ve used it before for engraving. Just never cutting with a CO2 laser. I’ve had everything from a 35W to a 100W CO2 and cutting it was out of the question.
It’s really good for engraves. You can do similar work on other metals using Cermark (used to be able to get Thermark too but Cermark bought them). Brilliance and Laserbond are also used for the same kind of thing. The sprays provide the coating that the thermal action of the laser causes to blacken and fuse to the metal. Alumamark has that already in its finish coating so you don’t have to spray anything on or wash it off when you’re done.
Thanks for trying! There’s a real possibility that that material is not aluminum. I have brushed “brass” like that too but it’s thin plastic. I wish I could use an alternate material but may just have to buy an Al bit for the CNC and try it out!