Pyrographs, Leather, Bronze and heat resistance

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by luisengard, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. luisengard
    luisengard New Member
    Dear shapeways friends,

    First of all let me say hello as this is my first post. I have been following shapeways for some time and I have enjoyed learning from your discussions in the forums from time to time. I hope to be an asset to the community and contribute with my limited knowledge :)

    Sorry for the long post but I think that what I am trying to explain here is something I believe it is new (I haven't found anything similar in the forums).

    My question is the following. I have a friend that works in the leather industry, making leather sleeves for macbooks and other laptops. He just started the business and wants to introduce some customization options.

    He explained to me that the industry usually offer stamping/embossing the initials, names or sentences by cauterizing or burning the letters in the leather manually, using what is called a pyrograph (pyrography is using kind of pens at high temperatures to "write" in leather, wood, paper and other materials). The pyrograph is composed of the pen which is in charge of the heating and a bronze or metal needle which is used to write and is extremely warm. The process is very artisanal but prone to errors and slow.

    A pyrograph and some needles:

    My suggestion to him was the following. Why doesn't he order in shapeways a set of bronze needles with letters as shapes or any other heat resistant material (heat resistant but with heat conduction properties) so they can be attached to the pyrograph that will heat the model and then use it to "write" on or burn the leather to customize the sleeves with his client's names. This option would have many advantages... faster, more accurate and less probability or error than drawing the letters every time.

    Do you have any advice or experience on what materials should he use? Heat resistant but conductive, relatively cheap and feasible to build with 3D printing? Do you think this will be feasible?

    Thanks a lot for your help! Both 3D and the leather world are new for me but I think that both fields have some interests in common.

    All the best,

  2. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Sorry, not new, the forums have some similar uses (maybe you should try different words when searching), ranging from pocket lighter accessory to bigger ones used to mark wood boxes. They were done in steel-bronze composite.
  3. luisengard
    luisengard New Member
    Hi stannum,

    Well I was not interested in the novelty but how to manage to do it, I will do a more thorough search with the words you suggested and update the post in case I find something useful.

    Thanks a lot!!

  4. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Try searching for "branding" in the forum search. The blog part of the site probably also has some of them. One of the things is (or was) a co-creator.
  5. GlenG
    GlenG New Member
    Hi Luisegard,
    3d printing tooling for hot stamping leather should work out just fine. The SS print material would certainly withstand the heat. The only possible issue is that because the SS material is a composite of stainless and bronze it is not as thermally conductive as pure bronze or copper. This means that in order to "burn" the leather you might need more heat input to the tool tip than you would with a similar copper or brass tip. The "pyrograph" you posted is really just a soldering iron, and these are available in a wide range wattage's. More watts = more heat . Only one way to find out how much power you need. Test shot!