Laser Machines

5 things you need to know to start laser cutting

Ever imagined running your own laser cutter? Here are five tips to get you started cutting patterns into everyday stuff like wood or newspaper. Laser reducing – sometimes called etching or engraving – isn’t just one of the coolest means of bringing a design to life but also, by far, the most appropriate. While it might be easy to create and slice out a small sign yourself, a laser cutter can do a lot more, like the kind of multi-layered lettering and design that a good skilled designer would struggle to execute.

What laser must I get?

Between co2 laser cutter, extractor lover and sourced materials used to build the rig, Roe said that it cost someplace in the region of EUR8,000 to create, whereas store-bought laser cutters from places like Epilog will cost you somewhere in the region of EUR20,000. This might seem like a cost the average beginner would balk at, but dread much less cheap alternatives exist. Starting out a little smaller, there are a number of 40W laser cutters available directly from eBay.

Where do I source the equipment to develop one?

Following Tog’s example, your one-stop shop is an online site called Lasersaur that offers people an open-source shopping list for building your own laser cutter. It also carries a step-by-step guide in developing one if you are beginning with scuff with little-to-no experience. It really is then simply a case of investing in the hours into sourcing the necessary parts. In cases like this, eBay will be your go-to place where parts can be shipped set for a small fraction of the price of buying locally, in many cases.

What materials do I use for laser slicing?

It might seem to be obvious, but you can’t just decide on any old materials and start blasting it with a co2 laser cutter. Also, it is advised to stay away from cardboard as the concentrated, intense heat can cause it to catch fire very easily and, when coping with electrical equipment, trying to put it out becomes that bit more complicated.

Among the better materials to make use of are the cheap and readily available birch plywood only a few millimeters dense. With this, a straightforward design can be etched out in just over one minute. Check here.

What must I make first?

When it comes to sourcing some cool designs to start out with, the internet is your friend. It is as easy as typing ‘SVG designs’ into Google and finding one you truly like. Along with SVG documents, the other laser beam cutter-friendly record type is DXF, which can even be put into a laser cutter software programmed to print as is or put into if you feel creative.

The easiest thing, Roe said, is to start out off with a vanity plate of your own name that you could hang up in your cubicle or on your wall structure at home.

 

Is there everywhere I can get some good guidance? While there are a variety of handy lessons on YouTube, Tog itself offers a hands-on experience using its co2 laser cutter.

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