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Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:55 pm
by Atonwa
So I was asked by a customer about doing an engraving on a ceramic tile. From reading online it appeared that I would need a diamond style bit since the material is very hard but I decided to give it a shot with what I had.

This is a 1/4" 30 degree carbide vbit, 10ipm of cutting speed and .020" deep cut. I was pretty impressed how well it came out. Has anyone else tried engraving tile before?

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Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:58 pm
by UltiArjan
Nice! Must also try that someday. ..

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Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:09 am
by WillAdams
You’re the first, and I added a section to the wiki on it.

Nice! Nazca lines-alike feel to it.

Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:29 am
by Atonwa
Thanks guys, I enjoy experimenting. Just to follow up with some more parameters and tips.

Plunge rate was 3ipm, depth of pass was .010" so I cut two passes total.

Since your cutting such a small depth of cut flatness is key, either find some very flat ceramic tile or use the probing feature of bCNC or a similar program. I was lucky and this tile was pretty flat.

This is important for the finished product and I may test on a few more tiles. To get the clean contrasting line you need to ensure that you do not machine too deep, especially if it is a dark tile core like this one. It's a balancing act of just cutting into the glaze but not through into the tile.

And just a word of caution for those people experimenting out there. NEVER EVER try to engrave any plate or other dishware from Corning, Pyrex or Corelle. The manufacturing process puts these items in a huge amount of internal stress and it will explode as soon as you get your bit into it. End of the public service announcement (and no, this wasn't trial and error. In my regular life I've worked in the manufacturing of these.)

Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:29 am
by AnonymousPerson
Yep, that does look nice.

If you do turn out to mill a bunch of it, please let us know if it blunts your tools quickly or not. I've milled some (very hard) ceramic like stuff here... and it very quickly blunted the (HSS only) end mills. Wasn't ceramic tile though. ;)

Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:14 am
by Iron Llama
I'm moving into doing that with ceramic tile, but I've been doing it with stone for a little while:

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Feed rate 130mm/min, 0.2 mm/pass, with a 1mm diamond bit. Colored the excavated areas with various colors of india ink. It worked fine, but I killed the bit doing about six of those 4" by 4" coasters.

Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:28 am
by AnonymousPerson
In your photo, the edges of the ink don't seem crisp.

Is that from the ink seeping into the stone, or accidental overpainting?

Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:08 pm
by Iron Llama
AnonymousPerson wrote:Is that from the ink seeping into the stone, or accidental overpainting?
The former. The white marble is both porous and a little translucent, so there's some visible bleed if you look at it close up like that. I've got a couple I've done in slate which don't have that effect (not visibly, anyway; I assume there was some seepage, but it doesn't show in the opaque stone), and I expect I won't see it when I try it with some black marble.

Re: Ceramic Tile

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:36 pm
by AnonymousPerson
No worries. Kinda wondering if some kind of sealant prior to the inking would fix that, as people do with woods. Guessing you've probably already thought about it. :D