Three Things You Should Remember When Using A Laser Cutter

Laser cutting technology has made it so much easier to manufacture materials, today.  With this technology we have been able to improve how we can cut various materials but also have altered the way we interact with materials such as:  ceramics, wood, rubber, and metal.  Whether for the purpose of exquisite home crafts or to greatly improve your company’s large factor productivity, any type of investment in a quality laser cutter could be just what you need.

Here are some things you should remember, then, in terms of your laser cutting projects.

You Can Never Prepare Too Much

Sure, anytime you get a fancy new toy it is easy to dive in and see what it can do, but the truth is that you when you are working with such a large scale machine, you really should take the time to properly prepare.  After all, as they say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

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Laser cutting, after all, can be quite a dangerous process. This is, essentially, engraving with a laser and that means the process will generate both heat and smoke.  While these are dangerous, in their own way, the physical reactions can also result in less than favorable aesthetics, too.  So, in terms of preparation just use masking tape along the edges to avoid stained edging.

Also, when you are preparing to cut, you will want to look at the machine’s presets. These could dramatically affect the outcome of your desired cut.  As such, it is always wise to first make a test cut with a piece of extra material (if you do make a mistake, you can simply throw it away).

Learn About Program Layering

Perhaps the best benefit to a laser cutter is that you have the opportunity to use a computer to program to make all the cuts automatically.  You can just import all of your design elements before starting your single cut and layer program to create something far more elegant.  

Wood Grains

It is also quite important to note that whenever you etch, cut, or engrave any wood, you need to track the grains of the wood.  Natural wood, of course, has mostly irregular grains.  These grains simply represent different types of growth.  But this is important because different wood grains also burn differently.  Composite woods, though—essentially synthetic—do not have any grains; and they burn quite differently than natural materials.