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A Steel Plate Etched by Saltwater

Saltwater Etching Metal with L-Cheapo

Aug 26, 2020

in: lasers

We have for you today another submission from Bruce Bradley, the gentleman responsible for the six-year L-Cheapo, demonstrating saltwater etching with his laser.

Saltwater etching of conductive metals is a relatively simple electrochemical process. A good Instructable explains the details of the process. The purpose of the laser in etching is to cut the mask material or paint, instead of using a scalpel as in the above demonstration. This allows for complex shapes to be very precisely cut, and with the right mask material, a clean edge mated to the metal. It is recommended that a mask that bonds to the metal such as a thick paint be used, because the burnt edges of tape or polymer mask will fail to adhere to the metal, creating a “lip”.

Any of our L-Cheapo lasers can be used to remove paint or anodizing, and mark metal this way. Check out our products page and order yours! Already got one? Head to the L-Cheapo Facebook Group and share your work. It’s a very friendly place.