Custom magnets are a great way to show off your brand and your designs. Typically, creating custom magnets is limited to printed versions or store bought items. With this method, you can create custom die cut magnets with virtually any material that is safe for CO2 lasers.
The beauty of this process, is that your magnets will have the same shape as your design. For this example, they are circular, but they can be any shape that you can imagine. The magnetic materials used in this process are specifically designed for use with laser machining and are safe to machine. Keep in mind that all magnetic sheets are not necessarily laser safe.
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For this project, I used only my laser machine.
- Laser specs: 60 watt Epilog Fusion M2 40
- Engraving: 90% speed, 70% power, 400 DPI
- Vector Cutting: 8% speed, 100% power, 625 frequency (25%)
- Engraving time: ~2 minutes
- Cutting time: ~30 seconds
STEP 1: Attach Magnetic Sheet
Once you decide which material you'd like to create magnets out of, the first step is to attach the magnetic sheet. This process, although straightforward, can be difficult to attach correctly.
The magnetic sheet is 12"x24". This means that attaching it to a 12"x24" sheet of material will be difficult. I've done this many times and I still manage to screw it up quite frequently.
One tip for these magnetic sheets is to add double sided tape to the material before applying the magnetic sheet. The adhesive that comes on the magnetic sheet is not reliable and tends to peel away from the material. Using the double sided sign tape will help fix this issue.
After the tape is attached, you will need to attach the magnetic sheet on top of it. Be sure to start at one corner and slow work flatten the magnetic sheet to the material using a scraper to work out the air bubbles. If you do have air bubbles, you can make a small hole in them with a knife and use the scraper to move the air out toward the cut.
STEP 2: Mask the Face of the Material Sheet
To keep the face of the material clean during the cutting and engraving process, I recommend covering it with masking tape. I use a roll of 12" wide masking tape that is low tack. This ensures that the face of the material will keep its finish once it is peeled off.
STEP 3: Machine the Magnets
For this project, I am using a client design. This design has a circular shape with text engraved.
The design is pretty simple. Using the settings above, I machined the magnets. Depending on the material, these settings may vary.
Once the magnets have been machined, the magnet material typically holds them in place in the sheet. They will need to be pushed out of the material sheet so that they can be cleaned up.
STEP 4: Clean-up the Magnets
I start cleaning up the magnets by wiping down the cut edges with a dry shop towel. When cutting the magnetic material, it will produce a black residue. It is best to clean this up before unmasking as some of the reside may move to the face of the material if you are not careful during the cleaning process.
After the residue has been cleaned off, remove the masking tape to reveal the finished magnet.
STEP 5: Enjoy Your Brand New Magnets!
Now it's time to show off your brand new magnets! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!