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Cermark metal marking spray lets you engrave black images/graphics on shiny/metal surfaces with a Co2 laser. It’s a bit like a ceramic glaze that gets “baked” on with the laser’s heat. Here’s a quick test I did on cheapy metal multi-tool (Didn’t want to try an iPod quite yet)…Dsc07666
First up, I measured the tool and made a template in my graphics app. I imported a vector art version of the MAKE logo and exported a 600 dpi .AI (Illustrator file) that would later be used with Corel Draw (that’s how the laser works, it “prints” from Corel Draw.

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The CerMark spray is pretty simple, just spray an even coat – I did two passes. The stuff is kinda pricey $65! so don’t waste any.

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Sprayed.

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Wait 15-20 minutes until it’s dry.

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I manually focused the laser since auto-focus might not detect the bolts/bumps on top.

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Print! Er, fire! 100% power and 35% speed (For this application, the speed is based on the power of the laser, so if you have a 35 watt laser, you do 35% speed).

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Done. I forgot to take a picture of it with the coating, it’s nothing special, it washes off with water in a minute. I used my hands to scrub it off.

The results are really impressive, the lines are smooth and it’s extremely pro-looking.

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Other view. I tried to see how tough it is, it’s *really* tough, I’m not sure it will come off, even scratching it didn’t do anything.

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Tool opened, that’s it.

Next up, I’ll experiment with iPods, and other shiny things. I’m pretty sure I can cover up the Apple and iPod writing, we’ll see what happens on the next test, stay tuned – as I experiment more, I’ll post or put photos in the MAKE Flickr photo pool.