Good to see you on the forum. You are welcome to list your company name and location in your signature.
In the meantime I'll post your site and tell members that you do first class work.
St. Louis Laser, Inc.
Trotec Speedy 300 Newing Hall 350
Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation Sand Carving
Evolis Card Printer
Good to see you as well. Finally jumped in on a 16"x24" Vision Router/Engraver, and figured this would be a good place to get some tips.
We're used to working with the old Wizzard XL technology, so it's nice to get into the modern era and have software solutions that are a bit more visual than the old iron.
Looking forward to learning, and helping in areas that I can....Punching metal being one of them.
The holders are around $50 bucks on e-bay and tooling is really dirt cheap if you can find a punch press and know how to set it up with deck.
I can take pics if anyone wants to see more....Our setup is much more basic than the video links I posted.
I started out as a toolmaker & prototype machinist and am now working as a manufacturing engineer. What others have said about cobalt drill bits is correct, they need to be properly sharpened and use plenty of cutting fluid. Tap Magic or even old fashioned pipe threading oil are good choices.
Start your hole with a combination center drill & countersink. If you try to just start drilling with the twist drill it will wander and end up way off location.
As to punching, if you were making lots of holes that would be the best way to go. You would need a several ton punch press and accurately made dies something you will not get with a hand held punch or even a bench mounted general purpose punch.
For the drill press, get something of quality. HF drill presses are very poorly designed and manufactured. Your spindle speeds will be severely limited and the table will bend from the downward forces. Go on-line and find a good used Clausing or Powermatic industrial grade machine with a variable speed head instead of some inadequate machine.
You may want to consider having a local machine shop drill the holes. You would not need to invest in the tooling & equipment and could devote your time to engraving.