Common Mistakes in Laser Engraving and How to Avoid Them

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Common Mistakes in Laser Engraving and How to Avoid Them

Laser engravers have made it possible to make exceptional designs with minimal effort and with much more precision. Whether you are a seasoned engineer or a novice, it is common to make mistakes when using design equipment such as laser engravers.

Sometimes, a mistake may happen because of factors that are beyond your control whereas at other times it’s something you can avoid.

Unfortunately, some mistakes are irreversible and can render the whole project a waste of time. Thus, it’s paramount that you learn how to use such equipment and avoid common mistakes that are likely to happen. To learn how to avoid the aforementioned mistakes, you must first acquit yourself to those mistakes.

In this article, we look at some of the common mistakes that can happen when using a laser engraver and how to avoid them.

 

Inconsistency when engraving glass

Any glass surface is delicate and requires undeterred attention to get it right, especially if you are not an accomplished designer.

Some of the risks involved with a glass surface include breakage or fracturing, which can destroy it completely. The laser can as well penetrate deeper than you intended, resulting in an undesirable outcome. 

Thus, when using a laser engraver on a glass surface or product, make sure the settings on the engraver are modified to the standard resolution that can work on your glass type without damaging it.

 

Maintenance

Maintaining your machine is as important as delivering the expected results.

If you do not service your laser cutting machine regularly or as required, it will not perform at its optimal levels, thus becoming slow. Regular maintenance ensures that wood and other residues such as acrylic are removed. You can avoid this by ensuring that your machine is cleaned often with more focus being given to the optics.

 

Burning through the material

Laser engravers are designed to work on different materials at different temperatures. Thus, before you start working on any surface, it is important to understand if it can withstand the laser, and if so, at what temperatures.

It is common to burn through fabrics and even wood materials if proper measures are not put in place beforehand. Different fabrics can withstand different laser power, thus the power settings you use on heartier fabrics such as canvas is not recommended on their delicate counterparts.

To avoid making the mistake, you can spare an extra piece of the surface and test it while setting the power settings to determine the right power for your desired results.

 

Different results for wood

Wood is without a doubt one of the most laser-friendly materials. However, you are likely to encounter varying results when engraving wood using similar power settings.

Whereas it is relatively easy to engrave exceptional designs on wood with relative ease, it is important to distinguish and understand the factors that make different woods react differently to laser engravers. One of such factors is the quality of wood. Differentiating hardwood from softwood can help determine the amount of laser power to be used.

That is because hardwoods require much more power than softwoods. On the other hand, with wood engraving, it’s recommended that you engrave from the bottom towards the top to rid off smoke from the engraving.

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