Heavy Metal - Retro Mechanical Labs

Retro Mechanical Labs (RML) from Portland, Oregon, is a long time client of John's. John has been laser engraving RML's distortion boxes for years now. They met through a series of events that are rooted with both being fans of Nine Inch Nails. RML was 6 by 6's first official client and is definitely one of our favorites. We've mentioned them before here on the blog and a few of their distortion box photos live in our gallery

We laser engrave blank powder coated distortion boxes and panels in various depths and widths. We remove any residue from the engraving process by hand. It can be a bit tedious but completely worth the delicate effort to show off the amazing retro industrial artwork of RML's designs. Powder coating has a distinctive look that I personally developed a love for growing up with a working auto body garage in my backyard. 

An overhead view of freshly engraved distortion boxes and panels for RML.

Each distortion box is built by hand. They share a lot of their process on Instagram. Building boxes to drilling holes manually. We wish we could do some custom metal cutting for them. That requires a plasma cutter, which is on our company wish list. 

We've visited the RML shop in Portland, Oregon a few times. They're always busy and have the most interesting vintage gages that find new lives in custom pieces that they create. An amazing process for amazing products.

You can see the final products and demo clips on their site. 

Laser and love - Thea


We get a lot of questions about what we can actually do with our laser in regards to materials.  A basic list of things we can cut and engrave are listed on our custom services page. One thing that is asked about often is metal. Can we cut metal? Unfortunately no, not with the type of laser we have. Can we engrave it? Absolutely!

For example, John has been engraving guitar petals for Retro Mechanical Labs for a couple of years now. 

We picked up these anodized aluminum travel cups at Costco yesterday to show what we can do with our laser on metal. (And to have on hand and fill up with tons of coffee in the upcoming holiday show season!) John tested out our header logo on it and they turned out great. 

Oh we're fancy.

Oh we're fancy.


Another small project customized pet ID tags. Our fur babies needed new ID tags so we whipped these up.

Customized pet ID tags.

Customized pet ID tags.

Our fur babies have fancy ID tags.

Our fur babies have fancy ID tags.

Basically, the possibilities are endless for projects in regards to metal engraving. Cups, tags, plaques, labels... the list goes on. If you have more question about metal engraving shoot us a note and we'll back to you.

 - Thea