Laser cutting, etching, engraving. It is one of the coolest ways to bring your designs to reality. It provides you results with precision, multi-layered lettering, and design.
Laser cutters are powerful, realistic tools to burn most things like wood, paper, plastic to create a design that you imagine.
So, before you buy a laser cutter, keep these five things in mind to make a precise choice.
The Main Choice: Laser Cutter
A typical laser cutter that most designers and engineers use consists of a 100W laser that have Trumpf nozzles. Between the laser’s extractor fan and sourced materials, your cost can reach $8000 to construct the whole setup. If you are just starting, you can even go for a smaller laser like 40W laser cutters available online. You can even search for parts like precitec nozzles or Trumpf parts online to setup the perfect product for your use.
40W laser cutter can help you with etching the designs you want on a thin place of birch plywood. You can also use acrylic material if you are looking for some cool opaque effects. Also, you can retrofit an old DVD players’ 5W laser into a working laser cutter if you have smaller use cases. It can do more than just etching a design on a piece of paper.
How to Source the Equipment to Build One?
In the digital age, you find many online options for your requirements. For nozzle parts, you can go for precitec nozzles, Trumpf nozzles online to source the best equipment for your business. Other than that consider referrals from your circle. They might also work best!
What Materials to Choose?
You can not just pick any old material and start blasting it with a laser. There are numerous materials like polycarbonate sheets that produce thick, acrid smoke when coming in contact with the laser. Also, make sure that you don’t go for cardboard as much as possible. Because the focused heat can cause fire easily when dealing with electrical equipment.
Birch plywood is a few millimeters thick but worth to add material; you can design simply with this material.
Your First Design
To find the best designs to start with, the internet is your bible. Of Course, it does not mean copying others’ work. But you can get some cool ideas with which you can create your own designs. You get ready-made SVG files, DXF to put into a laser cutter software for printing.
General Things for Using Laser Cutter
Power: It defines the output power of the laser. It can be from 0 to 100%. Generally, high power to cut thick materials and lower power to engrave and cut thin materials.
Speed: It decides the movement speed of the laser head. To engrave and cut thin material, the speed is usually set to the maximum.
Frequency (Hz, PPI): It specifies the number of laser pulses per second. For instance, wood cuts are best at 500 to 1000 Hz. For acrylic, 5000 to 20000 Hz is the minimum requirement.
Focus: There comes a focus lens inside the laser head. It should be on the surface of the material or slightly below for most of the applications. Make sure that materials are at a certain distance from the lens. The exact distance depends on the type of focus lens.
There are so many types of laser machines that come with a motorized bed. You can move up and down to set the focus distance. And the position of the material surface should be also manually adjusted.
Parts: Make sure you are using the best brand parts like Trumpf nozzles, Amada laser parts, etc. to get the most accurate results.
It’s time to cut!
Don’t worry, it can take a few tries to find the ideal settings for your material. Make sure you change only one parameter in a test process. For example, do not forget to write down your current settings for future reference.