5 Tips for Flaw Free Laser Cutting and Engraving
It does not matter what a person’s skill level is, there are some tasks that lend themselves to mistakes. That is definitely true when it comes to laser cutting and engraving. There are some things you can do to have a better experience and do a better job when handling laser cutting and engraving tasks. Here are a few:
- Start with the right fabric. Not all fabrics are able to withstand the heat that is used for projects that include laser engraving plastic. Often when using fabric on a custom laser cutting services project, it is important to start with the right fabric. Some lighter fabrics will burn with from the use of the laser. Fabrics that are known to work well with laser cutting and engraving are heavier fabrics such as canvas, denim, and leather. It is always a good idea to test the fabric before you start working on a large project. If you are working on a project that includes direct-to-garment work, you need to use a lower DPI (dots per inch) rate. Using a lower DPI will keep the laser from taking any more than the top layer.
- Use the right kind of acrylic. When people are working on a custom laser cutting acrylic project, it is important to use the right kind of acrylic. If the wrong acrylic is used, the normal result of a frosty white look is missing. Often, acrylic items and sheets are formed when a liquid acrylic is added to molds. These molds can be made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. This look is great for things such as plaques and awards.
- Take care when using glass. When using laser and engraving techniques on glass, the results can be beautiful but if this is not handled correctly, the glass can chip or look rough. There are things you can do to prevent this:
- Set your tools at a lower resolution. Using a setting of about 300 DPI can give you nicer results on glass.
- Make the black setting 80%. This can change the look of the images you engrave on the glass.
- Keep your laser engraver smooth the right dithering pattern.
- Use wet newspaper. There are times when using a wet paper towel or newspaper on the site to be engraved makes the end product look better.
- Work with dish soap. If you paint on a layer of dish soap to the surface where you plan to do your engraving, you can get a better result.
- Get rid of glass shards with a non-scratch scouring pad.
- Take your time when engraving wood. Wood surfaces are some of the easiest for laser cutting and engraving. The problem is that even if you do not change your settings, the surface of the material can react differently. This means that the design can look different on different parts of the wood. A big part of this problem is caused by changes in the wood you are using. Veins in the wood can make it hard to work with. Knowing a little about the kind of wood you are using can help a lot. For example, you will find larger veins in oak but smaller ones in alder, walnut, maple, and cherry.
- Clean and maintain your equipment. When the tools and equipment used in laser cutting and engraving is not cleaned on a regular basis, the performance will begin to suffer. To prevent this, follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for the tools you are using. If you notice problems with the performance, the first thing you should try is a thorough cleaning of the equipment. This can often be the reason for problems with performance. It makes a lot of sense to inspect your equipment both before and after using it. When you do this, you get the added benefit of catching any problems with the tool you are using. If you see an issue, dealing with it right away can help improve the job you do and let you have any repairs done early on.
Mistakes happen when working on laser cutting and engraving projects. There are steps that can be taken to cut down on errors.