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Laser Etching/Ablating

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adaminc

New Member
Anyone here ever use a laser etching machine (or laser diode) to either etch the copper off the surface, or ablate a coating?

I saw some videos of ablation a few years ago and never really heard much about it after that.

Just wondering if anyone here has ever done, or heard more about it. I was thinking of building a rig to try it out, but I'm afraid of burning my eyes out, lol.
 

jbeng

Member
You'll need to use a high-power (30-50W+) Nd:YAG laser @ 1064 nm to do this as the wavelength is more suitable for etching metal. I've tried it with a Universal Laser Systems ULS25 engraver (30W CO2 @ 10,600 nm) and it didn't even leave a mark. My concern would be that the laser won't stop at the metal, it will go right through the FR4 substrate, leaving a conductive carbonized (burnt) path as it does.
Jeff
 

HATHA

New Member
sound interesting :)
if you use some kind of photo resist material on coper board then even Class I laser will leave traces on coper board .
 

adaminc

New Member
@HATHA

That is what I meant by Ablating, versus just etching the copper right off. I have seen a video where they ablate black matte spray paint off the surface using a professional etching machine.
 

jbeng

Member
I think the "paint removal" technique would work rather well, but the folks I know who have the engraving machine don't seem to want to experiment too awful much. :mad:
They've actually made me want to go buy a couple of my own engravers and put them out of business ...

Jeff
 
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