Laser engraving or laser cutting systems work with various materials- natural stone, textiles, acrylic etc. However, wood is probably the most famous engraving medium in the industry nowadays.
From the customized gifts to engraving the company logo on the product, there are maximum things you can do with the laser. It would help if you remembered some facts before engraving the wood.
Before turning on the laser, consider the wood type you will also be engraving. All these types usually engrave distinctively & will also result in various looks- cherry and maple deliver a nice contrast while laser engraved when walnut is dark. Bamboo is a very famous wood for engraving, but for the grain pattern, it can also result in inconsistent contrast.
How to Get Started with Laser Cutting?
The laser cutters are awesome devices providing the specific possibility to make various things. Here, we will explain all the basics of creating designs for laser engraving or cutting. You will also learn that material also can be utilized and how to get access to the laser cutter.
What is the Laser Cutter?
The laser is just highly focused and amplified light. This laser beam causes the material to burn locally, vaporize or melt. This kind of item, which a laser also can, depends on the exact type of the specific machine and the laser’s power.
This term “Laser” is the acronym for the light amplification Stimulated Emission of the Radiation. Generally, this laser technology was developed in the 1960s.
There are various types of laser cutters. This specific guide will also focus on the gas laser & the CO2 lasers in particular, as this type is prevalent to use by small businesses and hobbyists. Some other types are crystal or fibre mainly utilised for some industrial applications.
How does this laser cutter work?
In the CO2 laser cutter machine, a laser beam is made in the tube filled with this CO2 gas. Electronically managed motors generally move a laser head engrave or cut the dreamt shape into the specific material of a workpiece. The particular shape is also defined by the input file that also can be the vector or the raster image.
While a laser hits a material, the very tiny area is also heated for a brief period, causing that material to vaporise, burn or melt.
Artwork for laser engraving can be prepared in many ways. Many people prefer using software like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop in order to prepare vector files. But you can also use a 3D modeling software like SelfCAD to achieve the same task. The good thing about SelfCAD is that you can even prepare your designs for 3D printing in the software without having to switch to another program. There is also an option to prepare realistic renders in the software. This is helpful as you can be able to prepare images that look like those in real life.
What can you do with this laser cutter?
Generally, there are three tasks that the laser cutter can also perform: Engraving, Marking and cutting.
This is called engraving, while a laser beam erases the parts of a top material but does not cut through that material. This is not an easy job as it sounds to be. It would help if you had the skills to perform this task. The engraving itself is a unique art.
While a laser beam typically goes the entire way through the material of a workpiece, this makes a specific cut. The laser usually is very clean and precise. The exact look of a cut edge entirely depends on the material. For instance, the edges of the cut wood are usually darker brown than the original wood. The edges of the acrylic do not also change the colour & also have a lovely glossy finish after a laser cutting.
The kerf of a laser cutter is very tiny. The specific term kerf refers to a width of a groove created when cutting. This also varies from material to material & is also wholly dependent on a particular laser setting. For maximum materials, a kerf will also be somewhere between 0.05 mm & 0.5 mm.
Marking is when a laser does not erase the material but, for instance, changes the colour of a material. With this, CO2 laser cutters creating is also utilised while working with the metals.
The marking solution is also applied to the surface of a workpiece. After drying a marking solution, the engraving usually is performed. The heat from a laser generally bonds the specific answer to metal, resulting in the permanent mart.
The wood you select mainly depends on the item being engraved. For instance, the oak barrel will also engrave distinctively than the bamboo cutting board. Just because of its durability and versatility, the wood is the exceptionally famous engraving substrate.
Customising photo frames with dates, phrases or names, making inlays for plaques and cabinets, personalising jewellery boxes, cutting boards & the humidors- and applications are also seemingly endless.
Both this cut and engrave system, you also can tackle the custom cutting and prototyping jobs projects such as laser-cut maps. Personalised gifts are the most powerful applications for laser engraving wood. You can also engrave the phone cases, skate decks, musical instruments and many other wooden elements.
The Laser customisation enhances the perceived value & is very much in high demand. Here you can get various examples of the laser-cut wooden projects on the website, like the wooden veneer inlay box.
Also, you get some tutorials for the laser –engraving on the bamboo cutting board. These specific creations also represent some widespread utilisations for laser engraving with wood.
The users also can directly download the particular designs of these projects, where you can also get the step-by-step instructions of lead utilisers through the complete tutorial.
These engraving laser systems are also easy to utilise. By following these steps, you will be well on your exact way to successfully laser engraving wood projects:
- Make your graphic in the window-based graphic design software. It Is famous in an industry in CorelDraw, but nearly the vector-based software will also do.
- Send the specific design to print in a laser. Make sure that the print settings match the particular material you are utilising.
- Load the specific material you are engraving into a laser machine & send a job to a laser.
Laser engraving with the wood is both remarkably impressive & easy. Putting these simple steps in mind, you will also be well on the way to producing your unique laser-engraved wooden creation!
How to Turn Your 3D Printer into a Laser Cutter
If you own a 3D printer, it’s possible to turn it into a powerful laser engraver and laser cutter if you have a 3D printer attachment like a laser diode. You no longer have to buy a laser cutter or laser engraver, everything can be done in your 3D printer. There are various laser production manufacturers availabe, but we recommend Endurance Lasers as their lasers are affordable and reliable.
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