Laser cutting used to be something which could only be performed in industrial environments using professional equipment. However, thanks to advances in technology, it is now possible to invest in a home laser cutting machine. Below is a guide to 3 things you should consider when shopping for laser cutting equipment.
The Type of Laser Cutter
Home laser cutting equipment will typically fall into one of two categories, these are:
Manually Controlled Laser Engravers
A manually controlled cutter is the perfect choice if you wish to engrave a metal surface with a text or graphic design. A hand-held laser cutter looks a little bit like a pen and may also be able to cut through very thin sections of metal.
Computer Controlled Laser Cutters
Computer laser cutters are typically more powerful and precise and can be used to either engrave or cut through metal surfaces. The machine resembles a printer and is controlled using special design software which should be supplied with the equipment.
The Materials You Plan to Work With
When it comes to deciding which type of laser cutter is right for you, one of the most significant factors is the type of material you plan to work with. Some laser cutting equipment is designed to cut through acrylic and plastic but won't work very well on metals, while others are designed to cut through thick metals and will damage and distort other materials. When visiting a laser cutter retailer, you should always seek advice about the strength of the laser and the types of material that each machine is designed to work on. Then you can decide if metal laser cutting equipment is right for you, or if you should opt for a different laser.
The Cooling System
When in operation, laser cutting equipment generates a lot of heat energy. When you purchase the laser equipment, you will also need to consider buying additional cooling apparatus. There are two primary methods of cooling, these are:
Air cooling uses a series of fans to blow a current of cool air across the surface of the material which is being cut to keep it cool.
Water cooling uses a set of water jets which spray a fine mist onto the surface which is being cut in order to keep it a safe temperature.
More advanced systems may have the cooling appliance building into the laser cutting machine.
If you would like further help in finding the perfect home laser cutting equipment for your needs, you should contact a company which specialises in this type of equipment.