If you’re ready to take your projects to the next level, then it’s time for you to learn the basics of laser cutting. A laser cutting tool, which is primarily used in manufacturing by engineers, is sure to take anyone, whether a DIYer or a working professional to the next level in their field.
Laser cutting designs, however, is no easy task. In this article, we’ll teach you the basics of laser cutting that you’ll need to know to become a competent cutter.
How do Laser Cutters Work?
First things first: you need to have a good handle on how laser cutters work.
The process is fairly simple, even though the technology to make that process happen is complex. A laser beam is sent forth from a component known as the resonator. A sequence of mirrors intensifies this laser, narrowing it into extreme concentration.
The heat of the laser does a quick, clean cut through the material in front of it. Mechanical arms are what guide the beam of focused light through the laser cutter pattern. The finer and narrower the point of light, the cleaner the cuts will be.
Know Your Cutter Types
First things first: you need to know the different types of cutters so you know which one to pick for your task.
A CO2 laser creates a light beam from a mixture of gases. These cutters are low-power but also low-cost, making them the ideal choice for a DIYer looking to cut through wood and plastics. Learn more about the individual options for CO2 laser in this article from bosslaser.com.
A neodymium laser leverages neodymium crystals to create the light beam. The result is a beam with a much finer point, allowing it to cut through much harder materials such as metals.
Last but not least, you have fiber lasers. These lasers are focused through fiberglass, which allows them to deliver a laser as potent as a neodymium laser while requiring less maintenance.
The way a laser cutter works is by using software to code the pattern that is to be cut out. A lot of different software options exist on the market.
If you’re just looking to do 2-D designs, then you can’t go wrong with the free Inkscape. This basic design program is open source and allows you to create the bitmap files that feed into the cutter.
For 3-D design, the industry standard is SolidWorks. This software costs a pretty penny, but if you’re doing 3-D design then chances are you’re doing it for a company that will be more than happy to foot the bill. If you’re a student, then Autodesk is a good free option.
Laser Cutting Designs Doesn’t Have to Be Hard!
There you have it — laser cutting designs doesn’t have to be hard now that you know how laser cutters work, which one you need, and what software pairs with it!
For more DIY advice, be sure to check out the rest of the articles on the website!