Laser Cutting and Engraving Tips

1.Acrylic cutting Tips

How to achieve smooth edges when cutting acrylic

Cutting acrylic often results in visible striations on the cut surface, making it appear less smooth. To ensure smooth edges when cutting acrylic, you can try increasing the laser power and decreasing the cutting speed. Higher power and slower speed lead to more energy pulses being absorbed by the acrylic, resulting in a smoother cut surface. However, material thickness and machine capabilities should also be considered.

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How to avoid acrylic catching fire during cutting?

1)Adjust the air assist to reduce the temperature of the material at the cutting seam, thus avoiding high temperatures that can lead to ignition.

2) Place damp paper towels nearby. The moisture from the paper towels can help reduce the temperature during laser cutting by evaporating and cooling the acrylic surface. Use tissues, damp paper, or kitchen paper towels. Even with these precautions, it’s important to remain vigilant and watch the machine to prevent fires.


How to prevent damage to the backside of acrylic caused by laser reflection?

During acrylic cutting, laser energy can burn through the material and hit the honeycomb bed, causing reflections from the metal mesh and damaging the backside of the acrylic, resulting in visible marks.

To minimize these marks caused by laser reflections, consider the following methods:

1.For smaller areas, you can place damp paper towels to weaken the energy of the reflections, thus protecting the acrylic.

2.For larger areas, use tools like nailboards to elevate the acrylic, reducing the energy of the reflected laser during the reflection process and preventing damage to the acrylic.

3.Cut the acrylic on a knife bar. Knife bars are less dense than honeycomb beds, allowing fewer laser reflections to reach the acrylic. Cutting should be done from the inside out and might not be suitable for very small parts.

4.Optimize processing parameters by increasing speed and reducing power, aiming to minimize the amount of energy reflected back during a given time.

Remember that safety measures and adjustments should be made based on the specific laser cutting machine and acrylic thickness you’re working with.

2.Wood cutting Tips

How to prevent the edges of wood from becoming too dark when laser cutting?

1) Increase the cutting speed: Higher speeds can help prevent excessive heat buildup and reduce the extent of charring.

2) Decrease the laser power: Lowering the power can help control the intensity of the burn and prevent deep charring.

3) Enhance air assist: Having a strong air assist blowing on the cutting area can help remove smoke and prevent excessive heat buildup, leading to lighter charring.

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What to do when wood isn't cutting all the way through?

1)Increase the power: Higher power levels enable the laser to cut through thicker pieces of wood. If cutting thick wood is a primary requirement, consider using a laser machine with a higher-powered laser tube.

2)Slow down the speed: Slower cutting speeds allow more laser energy to be deposited on the wood over time, facilitating deeper cuts. However, be cautious with high power and slow speed to avoid overheating and potential ignition.

3)Multiple passes: For exceptionally thick wood, if increasing power and slowing speed isn’t sufficient, try making multiple passes. Keep the wood in place until you’re sure it’s fully cut through to ensure proper alignment for subsequent passes.

4)Use a longer focal length lens: If your machine allows lens changes, switching to a 4.0″ or 2.5″ lens can help cut through thicker wood. Adjust the focus of the laser to be deeper within the wood for smoother cut edges.

5)Avoid knots: Knots in wood are typically harder and can resist cutting. When positioning your design for cutting, try to avoid areas with knots.

Keep in mind that finding the right balance of cutting speed, power, and other settings might require some experimentation based on the specific wood type and thickness you are working with.

3.Leather cutting Tips

Preventing Burn Marks When Laser Cutting Leather

1)Adjust Power Settings: When using a laser cutting and engraving machine on leather, adjusting the power settings is crucial. Ensure that the laser power is not set too high, as excessive power can lead to burning of the leather.

2)Adjust Speed Settings: While the high precision of laser cutting machines is advantageous for leather processing, there is still a risk of damaging the material due to the intense heat generated by the laser. Since different types of leather have varying thicknesses and hardness levels, it’s important to adjust the speed settings before beginning the cutting process.

3)Use the Appropriate Laser Focal Length: The laser focal length is essential when cutting leather with a laser cutting machine. It determines the distance between the laser head and the leather and affects cutting accuracy. This principle applies not only to leather but also to cutting other materials. If the focal length is too long, the laser head will be too far from the leather, resulting in shallow cuts. Conversely, if the focal length is too short, the laser might cut too deeply into the leather, potentially leaving burn marks. Therefore, it’s important to control the laser’s focal length. A typical focal length used is around 6mm.

4)Choose the Right Nozzle Size: The size of the laser nozzle also plays a crucial role when laser cutting leather. A nozzle that is too small can lead to excessive laser heat and burn marks on the leather. On the other hand, a nozzle that is too large can negatively impact laser performance and result in poor cutting quality. Hence, selecting the appropriate nozzle size is crucial.

By carefully adjusting these parameters and considerations, you can minimize the risk of burn marks and achieve clean, precise cuts when laser cutting leather.

4.Paper Cutting Tips

How to prevent ignition when cutting paper?

Paper, being highly flammable, requires careful handling to avoid ignition. Here are some techniques to consider:

1)Ensure the right frequency, high speed, and appropriate power settings are chosen, as excessive power can lead to paper charring.

2)It’s recommended to use compressed air to achieve a flame-retardant effect.

3)Shorter focal length lenses will yield positive results.

How to prevent paper distortion due to air assist during cutting?

We are aware that paper is highly susceptible to catching fire due to its low ignition point. To prevent combustion during cutting, we suggest using compressed air to achieve flame retardance. However, blowing air onto paper can cause distortion. To prevent this, consider the following techniques:

1)Opt for sturdier paper options when cutting, such as cardstock or thick cardboard. Avoid using softer paper types like A4 paper or rice paper.

2)If specific requirements demand the use of A4 paper for cutting, consider placing a sheet of cardstock underneath. This helps prevent damage to the paper caused by air blowing.

Remember, these techniques can help you avoid fire and distortion risks during laser cutting of paper, ensuring safety and high-quality cutting results.

5.Plastic cutting Tips

How to avoid melting deformation when cutting plastic sheets?

Plastic sheets have a low melting point, making them susceptible to edge melting and deformation when laser power is too high. To prevent this situation, you can consider the following methods:

1)  Choose an appropriate laser power for engraving, avoiding excessive power to prevent melting traces. Adjust the air assist to reduce the temperature of the material at the cutting seam.

2) Pay attention to the cutting speed; avoid going too slow and attempting to cut through in one pass. Instead, perform the cutting in three or four passes. This approach results in smoother edges without melting traces.

3) After extensive engraving, plastic sheets themselves may experience some deformation. You can gently heat the plastic sheet with hot water and use your hands to flatten it.

How to clean plastic sheets?

After engraving on plastic sheets, you can clean the surface using a damp cloth or alcohol. Keep in mind that if the laser power was set too high during engraving, there might be a layer of stubborn smoke and dust residue that’s hard to wipe off from the plastic sheet’s surface.

6.How to Find the Best Laser Engraving and Cutting Parameters?

Achieving optimal laser engraving and cutting results requires using the right laser parameters. Laser parameters are a combination of the following settings:



3.DPI (dots per inch)

4.Air assist

5.Z-axis offset (controlled focus)

6.Engraving passes

When working with new materials for engraving and cutting, testing should begin with a combination of high speed and low power. This approach ensures minimal material impact from the laser.

A useful tip is to always modify only one parameter at a time during testing. For instance, start with power and test different values in 5-10% increments. Then repeat the same process with speed. Only after this should you combine these two parameter settings. This approach allows you to isolate variables and determine how each parameter affects the outcome.

By systematically adjusting and testing these parameters, you can find the best combination for your specific material, design, and desired results in laser engraving and cutting.