On the fence about purchasing

discussion of design changes / improvements / suggestions
Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:16 pm

On the fence about purchasing

Post by Gmdphotographer » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:24 pm

Hi everyone! First off, thanks to the moderators for quickly approving my join request. I'm extremely interested in purchasing a Shapeoko 3 for the purpose of engraving up to 7075 aluminum AR-15 upper receivers (note for anyone concerned: this use is in conjunction with a legal, Federally licensed FFL07 operation). Is the Shapeoko 3 capable of legibly engraving letters and numbers of at least 1/16" tall at a depth of at least .003?" Ideally I'd like to engrave just slightly deeper than that as a CYA measure and to provide a little extra peace of mind for my clients. I have seen that a member on a competing product's forum has had good success doing so, but I am more confident about the longevity and accuracy of the Shapeoko if it's possible. Can the machine engrave through hard anodizing? If the answer is a resounding yes, I'll likely order by the end of the month. I had considered going with a laser engraver owned by my inlaws, but cross-country freight and setup in my home shop will be vastly more expensive than the Shapeoko. Thanks for your time. :D

Posts: 8588
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Location: Pennsylvania --- south of the Turnpike, East of US-15

Re: On the fence about purchasing

Post by WillAdams » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:03 pm

One of my first projects on my SO3 (back before upgrading it to an XL) was to make a pair of locking register calipers out of 6061 AL:

https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php ... -O-Studley

which had engraving about as small as you describe.

7075 is pretty tough stuff, and as you note, you'll need to get through the anodization layer, but folks have been very successful w/ other materials:

- https://www.reddit.com/r/shapeoko/comme ... _aluminum/
- https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/Materials#7075 esp. viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6631&p=53775#p53773
- http://community.carbide3d.com/t/making ... inish/5468
- http://community.carbide3d.com/t/hardco ... an-s3/9744
- https://carbide3d.com/projects/024-1911-engraving/
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/ Carbide Compact Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Carbide 3D precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

Post Reply