Engraving Tips & Tricks #3: How to Engrave Stainless Steel

Engraving off the coating from a metal tumbler is one thing, but making any kind of dent in pure stainless steel tumblers is quite another.

Engraving stainless steel is difficult because the material is so hard! This example is the best the Dremel Stylo can do on stainless… It definitely scratches it, but its much more faint than I want since the Stylo leaves behind a smooth finish & there is nothing to catch the light.

Pure uncoated stainless is difficult to scratch!

So we brought in the big guns…

The Dremel 290 is a diamond tipped vibratory engraver that can scratch & dent pretty much anything. It leaves behind a textured sort of emboss that feels almost like a finely knurled surface but the result is high contrast and clearly visible even on a shiny all silver cup!

First Try, I set the stroke width a bit low but immediately I could see the potential for detail of this new tool

The tool is cheap, simple, no coolant is necessary, & seemingly it never wears out, however… it is loud! This setup is one for the garage or dedicated workshop because the sound of this tool hitting a metal cup is not ignorable. We recommend the use of ear protection. (It just occurred to me that I might be able to dampen the sound by inserting some foam or paper inside the cup. Of course you could always put a foam box around it too, that would be enough.)

Dremel 290 has a depth control knob on the side, settings 1-5 with 5 being maximum depth. The vibration frequency is a function of your 120VAC frequency, so that is not adjustable. I choose 5 so as to get a strong mark.

For this tool I recommend slicing images at a 0.2mm line width, then running the job at 15mm/sec @100% vibration intensity.

An experienced engineers motto: “Slow is Safe, Safe is Fast”

The Dremel 290 also works on a regular coated aluminum/steel bottles, again with the tangible texture.

For reference, the black printed part model name is “ChiselMount_Dremel290_1xOPTIONAL.STL”, found among the other officially released CylinDraw Parts. The tool is held in firmly place to its mount with a couple cable ties.

Next time we will be discussing the details of our value proposition against the established technology. CylinDraw Engraver vs Lasers!

Published by EngineerDog.com

Michael is a modern mad scientist. Engineer by day, aspiring entrepreneur by night, and exhausted but loving parent at all hours of the day. He is always experimenting with inventions, small business ventures, and unnecessary home improvement projects. You can follow his adventures on his blog at www.EngineerDog.com

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