Men and women the world over discovered new hobbies during the global pandemic of 2020. Many people learned a new craft such as laser cutting and engraving when they were home under lockdown orders. As with any new skill, learning how to laser cut and engrave items comes with a learning curve. Be patient and keep practicing, as mastering this skill can lead to countless hours of enjoyment. The following tips become of great help as you try your hand at new projects.
Individuals must know the smoke from the engraving stains some materials. To prevent this from happening, protect the surface of the material to be cut by covering it with masking tape. This tape has little effect on the laser’s power, yet provides protection from the smoke. If you are worried that the laser won’t cut through the tape and the material as needed, increase the power slightly. Upon completion of the engraving process, remove the masking tape. This method works great when engraving leather and certain other materials. Make a test cut if you have any concerns about the smoke damaging the material being engraved. This cut will let you know if the tape is needed.
The laser cutter usually offers suggested settings based on the material being cut or engraved and the thickness of this material. When a specific material of a certain thickness is cut regularly, consider saving this information in the computer or laser as a preset. Name the preset something easy to remember so it can be found without delay when it is needed in the future. This saves time that can be used for designing new projects or cutting extra copies of a beloved project.
Do a Test Cut
A person should always do a test cut, even when using a preset with a preferred material. This ensures the laser will cut through the material and reduces waste. This doesn’t have to be a big cut. For example, a person can make a circle with a 1/2″ diameter and use this as a test cut on each project. Make the cut using scrap material or hide this cut in the corner of the material being used for the project. This lets you know if the power needs to be increased or decreased before the project cutting begins.
For many individuals, wood remains the preferred choice when working with a laser cutter. Individuals who have not used wood before with their machine need to understand that engraving on a composite material such as plywood differs from engraving on a solid piece of wood. Natural wood isn’t uniform, and each grain burns differently. Darker grains tend to be harder, while lighter grains represent softwood. If the finished project requires a uniform colour, use composite material. If the natural beauty of the wood is desired, choose raw wood knowing you will probably have a zebra pattern in the finished project.
When you see the beauty of laser-cut and engraved items, you’ll want to try your hand at new and more complex projects. Before doing so, check out Boss Laser’s Youtube channel. Here you’ll find a wealth of information that allows you to turn out gorgeous project’s others will envy. Check it out today.