Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are laser cutters safe?
  • What are laser cutters used for?
  • Can laser cutters cut metal?
  • Can laser cutters cut glass?
  • Can laser cutters cut vinyl
  • Can laser cutters cut paper?
  • Can laser cutters cut aluminum
  • What materials can I CUT with a laser cutter?
    • Wood (up to 1/2 in. thick)
    • Acrylic (up to 1/2 in. thick)
    • Plastic
    • Cardboard
    • Leather
    • Rubber
    • Fabric
  • What materials can I ENGRAVE with a laser cutter?
    • Wood
    • Acrylic
    • Plastic (some types)
    • Some metals (aluminum, brass, coasted steel)
    • Marble or other soft stone
    • Glass
    • Cardboard
    • Leather
    • Rubber
    • Fabric
  • Can laser cutters engrave glass?
  • What do laser cutters use?
  • How does laser cutting work?
  • What are the advantages of a laser when cutting
  • Can a CO2 laser cut metal?
  • How thick of of material can it cut?
  • How fast can I cut the material?
  • How fast can I engrave?
  • How does the laser create 3D depth in wood?
  • What are the safety concerns when operating a laser cutter?
  • Is there radiation hazard involved with laser systems?
  • How are laser systems built?

Tips & Tricks

  • Choose the right material
  • Preparing for Cutting or Engraving
    • Masking
    • Presets
    • Test cuts
  • Be careful with the spacing between two paths
  • Prepare your texts for laser cutting and laser engraving
  • Pay attention to the minimum and maximum dimensions
  • Create nodes
  • Find the great 2D models
  • When cast acrylic is laser engraved, it produces a frost that gives a beautiful white contrast.
  • Engrave multiple items in one batch
  • Adjust the resolution
  • Use color mapping
  • Contrast and depth are the most important factors when laser engraving wood.
  • Most wood will, therefore, need the laser power to be at 100% for best results
  • As you laser engrave wood, the resin will typically come to the surface of the wood and mix with smoke.
  • Clean the surface of residue
  • for wood that has no coating, you will have to remove the residue with a wet sponge or chamois
  • Do not attempt to use a paper towel to clean the resin because the paper towel will shred and the shredded fibers will get stuck in the wood.
  • color fill the engraved parts of the wood in order to create more contrast and make your engraved item more visually appealing
    • e careful when color filling because the liquid color could easily absorb into the grain of the wood surface and show in unwanted areas
  • lighter-colored woods like cherry and maple are great for laser engraving because of the aesthetically appealing contrast they produce
  • The denser the wood, the more laser power you will need to cut through.
  • Walnut, Maple, Oak, Cherry, and Alder are the most commonly laser engraved hardwoods because their grains work very well with laser engravers
  • Plywood is typically used as a building material and it doesn’t respond very well to laser engraving
    • air bubbles in the plywood can interfere with the laser beam and this means achieving a neat laser cut is almost impossible.
  • understand the characteristics of a certain type of wood before you embark on engraving it
  • engrave acrylic on the backside as this will give you a look-through effect from the front
    • remember to mirror your image before sending it to the legend
    • use low power and high speeds because high power levels can distort the acrylic.
  • to achieve a deep engraving on acrylic, use a mylar mask or transfer tape
    • if you are looking to perform a light surface engraving, no mask will be needed
  • exercise caution when engraving through painted acrylic surfaces because using too much power will melt the paint thereby resulting in distortions
  • Do not leave the legend system unattended when vector cutting acrylic because acrylic is very flammable
  • Play with the image dithering and engrave direction
  • Get familiar with the settings on the laser
  • Pre-engrave items
  • Use center engraving
  • Use Layers
    • Control the order of cuts
    • Have multiple parts & designs in one file
    • Create guides
  • be aware of the difference between engraving on a solid piece of wood versus a composite material like plywood or MDF
    • darker grains are harder and the lighter parts between them is softer.
  • Overlap lines. Eliminate doubled up lines.
  • Understand raster vs vector
  • Defocus the Laser for Thicker Vector Lines
  • Add a Vector Score to the Edge of Type or Engravings
  • Engrave Multiple Objects.
    • Create a grid that you can lay the pieces out on and accurately have the laser engrave on them
    • Create a vector file the size of your laser bed.
  • Use the Red Dot to Figure Out Where to Cut or Engrave
    • Turn off the power to the laser and turn on the red dot. Then run the file and watch where the red dot goes
    • If you need to use the red dot to figure out where an engraving will end up, draw a vector square or circle around the engraving and then have the red dot trace the square. Or draw horizontal and vertical center lines.
  • Learn Slicer for 360 Fusion

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