Permanent Metal Marking w/ Sharpie + Emblaser

I stumbled across this method by mistake when exploring the possibility of etching a resist for chemical machining.

Using a standard Sharpie marker, if you colour an area of metal, then laser over it you are left with a reasonable quality and permanent mark anywhere the laser ‘engraves’ the surface. Using isopropyl alcohol, the remaining marker is easily removed.

You could use this method as a cheap and easy way to engrave names or custom designs onto tools.

I have tried this on what I believe was brass and stainless steel.

This method does not provide as high a contrast as specialty metal marking products like Spectrumark or Cermark, though I have done minimal testing with variations to the settings.
It appears to have similar durability to the professional products.


Yes I also use this method, very handy :grinning:

Nice one Lliam.

As Stuart mentions in another of his posts, there must be a chemical in the product reacts with the metal when heated with the laser.

I remember a long time ago someone was able to engrave with mustard. I tried this years ago on the E1 but just ended up with mustard scented bits of metal.

Ah, thats right - I remember seeing this!
It’s great to know it works with aluminium also.

Have you tried this on coloured anodised aluminium? Usually we would see the anodising removed to leave a bare aluminium surface - I’m wondering if you get that or black with this method?

I hadn’t tried it so I did a quick test and it was down to the bare aluminium surface

Love this idea and execution!

Somehow, this feels way safer than using Moly Lube!

Love it!