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Has anyone ever tried this?
I think there’s a company in Toronto that will cast type from digital files, but I don’t know if they use lasers. Or sharks. Or sharks with lasers.
I have never tried lasercutting for metal, only high-pressure water cuts, which gave quite a nice finish. So far, for me at least, laser is more efficient (and cheaper) on softer materials such as acrylics or wood, with acrylics being the most efficient due to the problems with wood burning up on small lettering use.
For letterpress type 3d-printing proves to be the easiest solution so far although it needs a lot of work finishing in sanding the edges.
I believe most workspaces (at least the ones that I know of) use lasers for the softer materials, but still use water-cuts for metal. At least in the affordable range.
Interesting. 3d printing type? What materials?
Or 3d printing molds?
The issue for now 3d printing type is the wearing down. The materials for the more "affordable" 3d printers are not extremely strong, and some print materials work horrible with inks. If you want a crisp print you won't be able to make a huge printing run, the edges will wear down pretty fast. Since most prints are made with an extremely rough material getting a crisp edge takes a lot of post-processing. Also, because of the rough print, making small type is quite impossible.
I hope I have some time soon in which can experiment a bit more with it, since for now my tries have been mostly with checking out how to get the best finish for shapes. However, there are industrial printers out there that are able to print metal, now that will be something...