Laser cutting has been gaining popularity since it first became common in industrial settings during the 1970s. Companies in many industries are currently using this type of technology, including everything from the medical field to jewelry manufacturing and creating home decor.
At this point, laser cutting machines are even available for at-home crafters. While countless businesses and individuals are using these machines for a wide range of purposes, it’s important to keep in mind that perfection takes a great deal of time and effort to achieve.
Looking at Some Common Laser Cutting Mistakes
No matter how much you think you understand before diving into the art of laser cutting, nothing compares to hands-on experience. Even then, using laser cutting machines to their fullest capabilities requires experience.
Along the way, you’re bound to have certain mishaps with the materials you’re working with and the software that keeps the machines functioning. Take a look at the following common laser cutting mistakes to help reduce the amount of trial and error you may be up against.
1) Not Conducting Research Beforehand
One of the most common mistakes people make is failing to research the laser cutting machines on the market before purchasing one. Numerous models are available, each one with its own set of features.
They have varying power levels, versatility, and functionality. Exploring a laser cutting machine review can help you gain insight into the available models and which one best meets your needs and budget.
2) Failing to Keep an Eye on Progress
Modern laser cutting machines are, for the most part, automated. You set the parameters of the project, load the materials, and the software essentially tells the machine what to do from there.
However, wandering away from the machine while it’s doing its job isn’t recommended. There’s always a chance the machine itself could malfunction or something could go wrong with the materials being etched, engraved, or cut. It’s best to stay close to the machine while it’s in operation.
3) Being Impatient
It’s easy to get overly excited overviewing a finished project. Quite a few people make the mistake of pulling their projects out of their laser cutting machines before they’re actually finished. Remember, even though the project may appear to be finished, the process isn’t actually complete until the machine comes to a full stop. Removing the material too early can ruin your project and damage the components of the machine itself.
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4) Not Preparing Properly
Depending on the machine you’re using, certain steps should be taken before starting the laser cutting process. You’ll need to take the design you’re going to etch or cut and use the software to scale it to the available work surface.
The work surface may need to be marked as well. Those requirements vary by machine, but preparational measures generally need to be taken beforehand. Otherwise, the project may not go as planned.
5) Failing to Take Care of the Machine
Today’s laser cutting machines are durable and reliable. Still, they require a certain amount of upkeep to ensure they stay that way. They need to be cleaned regularly to remove built-up debris from the materials you work with and eliminate safety hazards.
From time to time, the machine may need to be recalibrated as well. Keeping up with cleaning and maintenance will keep your machine working properly and make it last much longer.
Making the Most of a Laser Cutting Machine
Laser machines offer numerous benefits from creating precise cuts and intricate designs to quickly carrying out tasks that might take days or weeks if done manually.
Making the most of this type of technology takes experience and a certain amount of trial and error. While mistakes are bound to happen, keeping these points in mind can help you avoid some of the more common ones.