Home » Archive by categoryLaser Cutter

The Use of Laser Cutting in Sheet Metal Prototyping

Although there are several ways in which sheet metal can be shaped and cut, few are as accurate, reliable and inexpensive as laser cutting. The technology involved in laser cutting machine is so useful that a continuation, as well as improvement of their future capabilities, is inevitable.

Categories of Laser Cutting Tools

Laser cut is a flexible tool whose use can be applied in a wide spectrum of materials like stone, glass, plastic, wood, and sheet metal.

  1. CO2 laser

A CO2 laser cutter is a popular type of tool that is valued because it is easy to control and highly precise. A beam made of concentrated CO2 gas is activated by electricity to power the cut.

  1. Fiber Laser

A fiber laser uses glass fibers to enhance the potential of a seed laser. The result is a laser that is more powerful as well as more accurate than the CO2 laser cutter. A fiber laser is usually used for metals due to its focused and intense beam.

  1. Crystal Laser

A crystal laser is similar to a fiber laser, except that it uses pump diodes and crystals to generate the power of its beam. A crystal laser has a performance and application potential comparable to a fiber laser.

Benefits of Using Laser Cutting with Sheet Metal

There are numerous reasons why the use of laser cutting machine is the preferred method when developing a prototype sheet metal.

  • More Intricate

As a laser has an average size of just a few micrometers, it allows the accuracy to create and cut sheet metal prototypes that would not be possible if other methods were used. On the other hand, this results in an almost unlimited range of possibilities.

  • Finished Edge

The use of a physical technique like a blade, to cut metal sheets produces imperfections, such as roughness and burrs, along with the edge. For a lot of designs, these would need to be buffed out or otherwise eliminated which may increase the time it takes for the end user to get their product. The use of a laser eliminates this problem.

  • Scalability

The tools allow companies to cut as many or as few sheet metal prototypes as their customers want. In general, these lasers do not have to be adjusted or reconditioned to fit the design of a certain part. When adjustments are unavoidable, they are easier to perform when you use a laser cutter. Check here.

Laser Cutting and the Future

As of right now, CO2 laser cutters are still the industry standard, although fiber lasers are being rapidly adopted. Even though it is quite new, it is projected that fiber laser technology will become standard in the next 10 to 12 years. Several companies will continue to use their CO2 laser cutter along with their fiber lasers, providing them with more design options they can provide their customers. In addition, it could be combined with 3D printing to create accurate and reliable products for customers.…

Continue reading

Avoiding burn marks/smudges when engraving acrylic

Burn marks and laser cutting go hand in hand – you are cutting with a highly focused beam of light after all. Even so there are some tips and tricks to minimize this issue for different materials. Here we are going to focus on acrylic.

Solution

Most of the acrylic you will buy comes with a protective paper on both sides. It is possible for you to leave this paper on the acrylic while you laser cut you design. In our experience doing this does not interfere with the quality of the engraving at all. The biggest pitfall of this method is that you will need to peel the paper off both sides of your acrylic after you laser cut it, which can be extremely time consuming depending on how much cutting you and removing the paper can be fairly tricky depending on the complexity of your design.

Tips

As a rule: cut with paper on both sides if there is no raster engraving in the design, or if there is only heavy raster engraving. Heavy raster engravings will have no trouble burning through the paper.  Neither will heavy or medium vector engraving. However if the file has medium or light raster engraving you should remove the protective paper from your acrylic unless you have tested out that design in particular to find out if you can in fact leave the paper on.

Cutting

If you leave the paper on for a cut through acrylic you will see that the leaving the paper on produces a cut that appears much more clean that if you were to take the protective paper off the acrylic. Normally a cut can and will leave smudgy burn marks on the inside of your cuts. Which it may not be eliminated completely, these marks will be greatly reduced if you leave the paper on your acrylic while cutting.

Heavy Raster Engraving

If you leave the protective paper on while engraving you will notice that the paper produces a crisper result compared to engraving with the paper. The vaporized acrylic builds up around the outside of the letters when the paper is not use and produces this slightly ‘inflated’ look. This would probably polish off should you have the desire to do so.

Medium Raster Engraving

Again leaving on the protective paper and simply engraving through it will leave the design looking more crisp that if you were to remove the paper. However with medium raster you may have some sticky residue left over from the adhesive of the paper as it may not be as thoroughly burned as it will be from a heavy raster engraving.

So what does all this mean?

If you want to reduce some of the burning on your acrylic or get better and crisper engravings then simply leave the protective paper on while you cut or engrave it. However be sure to still remove the paper for some medium and basically all light raster engravings.…

Continue reading

Getting More Value for Money with a Laser Cutter Machine

Laser Cutter

Using a laser cutter machine has become highly popular and a lot easier than you might think. Laser cutters are useful machines and certainly something which thousands are turning to each and every day. However, will these machines really offer you what you need? Are they really good value for money? Read on to find out a little more about laser cutter machines today.

You Must Have a Workshop for the Machine

First of all, laser cutters can have a lot of debris flying around and there probably will be a lot of fumes hanging around too which can be a real issue to say the least. When you are using a laser cutter you are best setting up a nice and spacious room. Laser cutters are easy enough to use but at the same time you want to get plenty of ventilation so that you don’t get overcome by the fumes. If you are using this in your apartment or in a small room, always open the doors and windows and take breaks. This will be highly important and something that will be useful especially when it comes to keeping safe and sound at all times.

Always Get In Some Practice

How good are you at using laser cutters? Despite what you might think, these machines are easy enough to use but only when you know what you’re doing. That is why you need to think about taking a few days to put in some hours of practice. Again, practice might not seem overly necessary and yet it can be very important. Having practice enables you to get used to the laser cutter machine and understand how it should be used correctly. What is more, when you put in the practice, you can gain a lot more experience and skill! This will prove a real hit and really it’s something that will help.

Renting Is More Cost Effective

Buying outright might seem better simply because once you pay for the machine, it’s yours and you don’t have to worry about it but it’s not always that straightforward. For example, buying a laser cutter can cost tens of thousands of dollars which might be too costly for some people. However, if you were to instead rent the machine, it could be a lot less costly. You don’t have to rent long-term if you don’t want to but if you’re only planning to use it for a short time, it’s better to rent or pay per hour for use at a maker space facility.  Also, if you do decide to buy read reviews of the laser cutter company.  Here’s where you can read Boss’ BBB reviews:  https://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/lasers/boss-laser-in-sanford-fl-90314519.

Use with Ease

It has never been easier to get your hands on a laser cutting machine and it’s truly a simple machine that shouldn’t get you into too much trouble. You are absolutely going to love how the cutter is to use and really with a bit of practice you shouldn’t find it’s too difficult to use. It has never been easier to use a laser cutting machine and there are a dozen different things you can use it for too. A laser cutter machine is a nice tool for most people and it’s incredibly easier to use.…

Continue reading