candyleather

Using laser engravers/cutters for leather work

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With laser you can cut your pattern's pieces or engraved your photos or self designs in leather. If you use a laser machine I would like see your works and read your experiences.

You can see a sample here

One more pic from M&K Engraving

Actually this is an excellent post. I'm pretty new to leatherworking, but I was interested in finding a laser cutter/engraver(or cnc machine that deals with leather) for leatherworking.

Sorry candyleather, I dont mean to hijack your thread. I just wanted to express my interest in any knowledge anyone has on this! :sign23:

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Hello. Yes, I do laser engrave on leather among all other things. I have a Universal Laser System (ULS) 45 watt engraver.

I use it mostly for photographic work or simple silohuetts. I might outline with it, but I still prefer to cut the leather with a knife.

cutting with a laser will char the edge. If you have any questions, just send them on. I'd be happy to tell you about my

experience with it. peace.

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cool! I just had a friend ask me if laser-engraving worked on leather. I went out on a limb and told him I'm sure it would, glad to know I wasn't wrong :dance:

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Hi, I´m a laser engraver for 5 years located in Spain, and we do a lot of engravings in leather and wood.

Now I updated our webpage, so you can take a look to our specialized works:

http://www.cincelaser.com/joomla/index.php...6&Itemid=69

Hope you like the results!

Hello. Yes, I do laser engrave on leather among all other things. I have a Universal Laser System (ULS) 45 watt engraver.

I use it mostly for photographic work or simple silohuetts. I might outline with it, but I still prefer to cut the leather with a knife.

cutting with a laser will char the edge. If you have any questions, just send them on. I'd be happy to tell you about my

experience with it. peace.

cool! I just had a friend ask me if laser-engraving worked on leather. I went out on a limb and told him I'm sure it would, glad to know I wasn't wrong :dance:

Thanks folks!

Do you know if a laser-engraving machine can to print polycarbonate in relief? Do you know the name of the plastic for to make the craftaids and what kind of laser-engraving machine can do it, how many watt of power? I want to made my own craftaids.

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Hello. When making stamps, I have used 1/4 inch Delrin in sheet form. I haven't played with making craftaids from

plastic, but not much thickness is necessary - Only a few mils. You only need to remove enough material to leave a raised line.

As for power, not a lot is necessary. Even 25 watts will work. You can compensate for power but engraving slower.

peace.

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Here is a web site with some great info on leather applications for leather...

http://www.epiloglaser.com/

and here is a page with a bunch of samples customer have sent them photos of, including some leather ones:

http://www.epiloglaser.com/sample_club.htm

Personally, I'd rather make engraved stamping plates, rather than using the laser directly on the leather itself, but that is something you could do with one.

Kate

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I have been asked to do a "one of" planner with some tooling and the logo/text will be done by someone else locally with a laser. Questions coming to mind:

Can the leather be tooled, and oiled, but not finished before lasering?

Will the laser darken the lettering and will I need to be careful what finish I use over it to prevent the blackening from coming off?

What else should I be asking?

Thanks for the timely thread. Now the bigger question, How much would one of these units cost? Easy to learn? Easy to get and service?

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I have been asked to do a "one of" planner with some tooling and the logo/text will be done by someone else locally with a laser. Questions coming to mind:

Can the leather be tooled, and oiled, but not finished before lasering?

Will the laser darken the lettering and will I need to be careful what finish I use over it to prevent the blackening from coming off?

What else should I be asking?

Thanks for the timely thread. Now the bigger question, How much would one of these units cost? Easy to learn? Easy to get and service?

Easy to learn ? Depends on how good you are with computers. The laser's following a design from the computer, either canned or one you built. Primary design control, other than the "where" it cuts, is how deep it cuts.

I've done a fair bit of research. Looked like about $15 grand for one with a large enough work area and enough power to be useful on more than wallets and coasters...

They're amazingly precise. I was quite surprised by the extremely fine detail in the demo pieces that came in response to my inquiries with Epilog.

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I have been asked to do a "one of" planner with some tooling and the logo/text will be done by someone else locally with a laser. Questions coming to mind:

Can the leather be tooled, and oiled, but not finished before lasering?

Will the laser darken the lettering and will I need to be careful what finish I use over it to prevent the blackening from coming off?

What else should I be asking?

Thanks for the timely thread. Now the bigger question, How much would one of these units cost? Easy to learn? Easy to get and service?

Two more cents worth: You can laser it after the tooling and oiling (or dyeing). But I would recommend doing it after the finish.

When you laser, you burn the leather. The engraver has a exhaust fan that pulls the smoke out which result in the smoke being pulled across the leather. This deposits particles on the leather. We call it smoke damage. With a finish on the leather, you can clean this up

with something like lemon Pledge and then re-sealed. The simplest way to look at lasering is to consider this: what can I accomlish with a soldering iron over the top of the leather? The laser is just faster and applies more heat an any given point, but the results are no different.

Next, keep in mind that lasers have a fixed focal point. They work great on flat items, but not on radical curves. To quantify this, if you tried to laser a circle on a flat piece of leather, you get a circle. If you try to laser a circle on a baseball, you get an oval. This is becuase as the ball curves down from the center, the laser is losing focus. The focal point should be accurate to +/- 1/8" from the point you set the focal point to.

Money wise, there are lots of options depending on what you want to do (besides leather). Being able to burn leather only requires about 25 watts of power. You can get a ULS 25 watt desktop model for under 8 grand. Table top is limited to 12 in x 12 inch. These are mostly targeted at trophy shops who are engraving wood plaques. If you plan to cut through wood, or to mark metal then 45-100 watts are what you need. These models usually have a 12x24" worktable to start and go up to 18x36 on the table top. These start to get into 5 digits.

There are a lot of bells and whistles you can add: Air assist, dual beams, rotary attachments, cutting tables and ULS offers a beam concentrator that allows it to directly engrave metal. Just depends on your pocket book.

Lastly, you'll need a computer and software. The computer is unimportant, but the operating system is. Only Epilog and ULS (the big 2) seem to keep up with changes in the OS quickly. The change to MicroSludge Vista was horrible for many operators. ULS and Ep updated quickly. A lot of the asian models are still waiting, and waiting, and waiting. The big 2 may not be the cheapest, but they are definately the best at customer support. As for the software, most people run either Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator. Both are Vector drawing programs. There are LOTS of books on both of these. Unless you take a workshop on them, you'll have to invest a lot of time learning how to use them. Other software will work, but the big 2 at least have optimised thier repspective drivers to work with Corel and Adobe.

As for me, I use a 2001 ULS M300 model with 45 watts of power and a 12x24 worktable. It is industrial grade and can be run 24/7. Someday I'll get back to doing stuff with it. peace.

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