Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine: Everything You Should Know Before Your First Purchase
Over the last decade, we saw an unprecedented development in the world of cutting and engraving technology. This massive development can be primarily attributed to the successful development of laser cutter technology and its subsequent upgrade within this time. Its possession of incredible technical content puts it ahead of many other technological developments. Laser cutting technology typically integrates light, electricity, and machine.
Over time, its application has penetrated several industries, making it one of the most used technological advancements. However, we mostly hear of its use in the craft industry, mold industry, and advertising industry. There are also mentions of its use in the printing and construction industries. However, despite the popularity of the acrylic laser cutter technology, many people are still yet to grasp what it is and its application. To help, we’ve provided all the info about it in this article. Read on to find out more.
- What is a Laser Cutting Machine?
- How The Laser Cutting Machine Works?
- Benefits of Using An Acrylic Laser Cutter
- How to Operate the Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine?
- Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine Maintenance Tips
- Factors To Consider When In The Market to Choose An Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine
What is a Laser Cutting Machine?
To start, let’s explain what the laser cutting machine is. It’s a piece of equipment that’s designed to cut and engrave different materials using laser technology. The design of this machine and its operation method are typically different from other traditional cutting methodologies.
While most traditional engraving methods are known to use hard engraving materials for the process through a mechanical process, laser cutting machines use heat energy. As expected, laser cutting machines’ popularity means that its application is wider than other traditional methods. This is mainly due to the accuracy and speed that this method offers.
In addition to speed and accuracy, laser cutting machines are also gaining popularity for offering more detailed engraving processing effects than traditional engraving methods.
How The Laser Cutting Machine Works?
From the name of this machine, you can already tell that it uses laser technology to work. As part of its job, the laser generates a laser beam transmitted by an optical mechanism and focuses on the material’s surface.
The laser beam typically comes with high energy density; therefore, quickly vaporizing the material to create pits. Laser cutters are designed to use computer controls to manipulate the XYZ axis, those driving the laser head into motion and controlling the laser to switch as required. The computer designs and stores the image information that’s being processed by the software.
The computer typically transmits the design information to the laser cutter in sequence, causing an up to down and back and forth motion of the laser head along the design route. Finally, these processes combine to form a complete piece of text or graphics depending on what’s required. The processing technology adopted in this scenario is classified in the non-contact processing category, unlike mechanical cutters that need direct contact to carve out the required design.
An important feature that stands a laser cutting machine out is its ability to cut edges very smoothly without the need for secondary polishing. It also works without generating any dust, produces less weight, and is highly efficient.
Benefits of Using An Acrylic Laser Cutter
Whether you are using your acrylic laser cutter at home or anywhere, there are several benefits you can expect from it. Of course, the acrylic laser cutter comes in different categories, so we’ll just focus on explaining the overall benefits.
1. No Contact Method
One of the stand-out benefits of the Acrylic laser cutter is its ability to complete the cutting process without contact. This means that the laser beam doesn’t need to touch the material physically. Instead, it relies on heat to achieve the result that’s desired of it.
This benefit stands out from more traditional cutting methods, considering that it eliminates the abrasion damage usually left on the material. Instead, this method only vaporizes the portion targeted by the laser without affecting its surrounding areas.
A bonus to these benefits is the reduction of cost, considering that no perishable part will wear out from the process.
2. Works on Several Different Materials
This benefit of the acrylic laser cutting machine is most felt by commercial users who find themselves working on different materials. Whether it is metal, plastic, ceramic, or glass, you can be guaranteed that the machine would work perfectly on them. This is a significant benefit, considering that most modern industries utilize more than one material during their manufacturing process. Thus, having such an approach that works on their different materials can help them save more.
3. It Works at a Range of Depths
Both traditional cutting methods and laser cutting methods seek to achieve one aim – removing a portion of the material that’s being worked on. However, laser cutters, especially Acrylic laser cutters, give you maximum control to cut at different ranges. You don’t have to be limited by the material’s dimension anymore, considering that you can cut without contact.
4. High Level of Efficiency
This is perhaps one of the most endearing benefits of the Acrylic laser cutter. As we’ve partially explained, laser cutting is typically efficient. Since this method allows you to switch between materials and a range of depths, you can expect great end-results. Additionally, the Acrylic laser cutter has proven efficient in maintenance cost and service terms compared to other traditional cutting methods.
5. Greater Focus on Quality
While it is true that businesses need to look out for more efficient methods, they are also advised not to shift focus on quality. This typically means that you must find methods that will maintain a high-efficiency level while delivering top-notch results. Thankfully, using Acrylic laser cutters can help you achieve this feat.
6. It Doesn’t Compromise Safety
One of the qualities that you must look at in any machine is safety. Thankfully, these cutters pay attention to the safety of consumers and factory workers alike. Most traditional cutting methods often use harmful methods to facilitate the cutting process. However, in this case, you won’t need to apply any chemical because it simply uses the laser technology system.
The use of this cutting method with computers also makes it possible to operate from a distance. This way, people can work without fear of unnecessary injuries and other similar conditions.
How to Operate the Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine?
Acrylic laser cutters are not common machines. Therefore, the proper and safe operation typically requires that you follow set operational instructions. It all begins with starting the laser cutter following the laser start-up procedures. In addition to successfully starting the laser cutter, you’ll need to put several other operating instructions into consideration. Below are some of the general operation instructions to follow when operating the Acrylic laser cutter.
- Operators would generally need to accept the training for operating this technology. The training gets you familiar with the performance and structure of the machine. It also helps you master all the relevant knowledge of the machine’s operating system before handling it.
- Operators are advised to wear all the labor protection gears and equipment as required before operating the machine. Operators need to also compulsorily wear safety glasses that meet the laser beam requirements in your locality.
- After turning the machine on, you are advised to drive it manually along the x and y-axis at low speed before activating full operation. The main reason for this is to ensure that the machine is working correctly without any abnormalities. You’ll also need to test run and confirm operation status in the same vein whenever you input the program for a new work-piece.
- While working with the machine, operators will need an adequate alertness level to ensure the machine’s total efficiency throughout the operation. You also need to pay proper attention to observing the different parts of the engraving machine. This way, you’ll be able to detect potential movements beyond the effective travel range and prevent collisions.
- You’ll need to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in the area of operation, especially when using the Acrylic laser cutting machine.
Maintaining the laser cutter is a must if you desire efficient cutting for a long time. However, most users find it challenging to maintain their acrylic laser cutter; therefore, cutting the service life short. The next session focuses on providing maintenance tips.
Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine Maintenance Tips
Generally, acrylic is easy to cut, so you shouldn’t find operating the machine complicated, especially if you follow the operation instructions carefully. As a guide, we recommend setting the laser output to 80% and adjusting the speed to cut the material. Usually, very high speeds combined with the increase in low-speed striation to produce high-quality results. However, to maintain top-quality throughout the machine’s life span, you’ll need to put the following maintenance tips into use.
Experts recommend that you avoid leaving the machine unattended during the cutting process. This tip is crucial for moments when you are processing potentially explosive materials.
(2)Keep The Machine Clean
Like most other machines, the Acrylic laser cutter requires cleaning from time to time. Before resuming work every day, take a few minutes to remove debris from the work surface to prevent the build-up of waste from ignition by the laser beam.
(3)Switches and Safety Circuits
One significant mistake that people make is to focus only on their safety. You’ll also need to consider the safety of the people in the operating environment and one way to do it is to check the switches and safety circuits. Bear in mind that laser machines are classified as Class 1 machines. However, the safety circuits make the machine unable to operate with the lid open. Opening the lid easily puts your health and the health of anybody around at serious risk.
(4)Lens and Mirror: Cleaning
This is another important area of maintenance. You are expected to complete the cleaning of the lens and mirror without using any type of abrasive. Using abrasives can ruin the lens and mirror. It is also vital to ensure that these optical parts are always clean. Allowing deposits of debris on the optical surface can significantly reduce the laser’s efficiency. It can also make the optics very hot, leading to cracks or more severe damages to the lens and mirror.
The best way to clean the lens and mirror is with pure alcohol products like ethanol. During the cleaning process, carefully soak a cotton pad in the solution and rub it gently on the mirror or lens to get rid of the accumulation of down payments. From time to time, deposits get stuck below the lens where your hands may not reach. When it happens, you’ll need to remove the lens and saturate it in our alcohol for a few minutes to soften the residue. Once done, use soft cotton to wipe the surface area of the lens.
Factors To Consider When In The Market to Choose An Acrylic Laser Cutting Machine
Are you currently in the deciding moment when you’ll want to acquire a new laser machine for acrylics? This comes with many uncertainties for many people, mainly because there are so many options available. The availability of too many choices makes the whole selection process overwhelming. For starters, you’ll need to move your search beyond typing “best Acrylic laser cutter near me” on search engines to going to the market by yourself. Several factors combine to make certain products superior to others, and you must understand these factors to make the right choice. To help, we’ve outlined some of the factors you should consider when in the market to buy an Acrylic laser cutter.
Definitely, your job will determine what machine you should get. Therefore, you’ll need to be sure about the materials you want to work with before buying a laser cutter. Bear in mind that each machine is specifically designed to perform better on some material types. Of course, that means that only the right fit of the device for your materials would result in excellent results. To help, you’ll need to prepare material and a design that you can use as a sample across different parameters and machines. That allows you to compare results in relation to speed, power, resolution, engraving, etc. You’ll probably work on common materials like glass, ceramics, rubber, cardboard, clothe, wood veneer, etc.
While the material may be the first thing to check, it’s not the only thing you’ll need the check. Power and other factors come into play when deciding which machine is best for you. Therefore, you’ll need to importantly check the power of your choice laser cutter before purchasing. The power typically determined the type of work you can do on the machine. You don’t want to buy a machine that’s heavy on your investment, only to get home and find that it doesn’t offer you the right power to fit your work. If you are not sure about this, you can ask the seller to explain more about each option’s power.
Like every other purchase, your budget greatly influences your choice of acrylic laser cutters. This is why it’s always important to research the acrylic laser cutter price before hitting the market for it. This way, you would adjust your budget accordingly. Different brands are sold at different prices. Avoid purchasing the least expensive options, as this can mean sacrificing quality on the altar of price.
4. Work Area
You also want to put your work area into consideration when buying an acrylic laser cutter. Different cutters have different sizes and weigh differently. The number one decider of the size of the Acrylic laser cutter you’ll buy should be the size of your work area. The maximum size of pieces you’ll be working on should also play a role. You will either need to cut in large pieces or to produce several smaller pieces simultaneously. Whatever the case, it’ll do you a lot of good to get a machine that accurately suits your workload. It’s also essential to consider whether the device has an automatic change because of its role in helping operators to streamline your project’s finishing sequence.
5. After-sale Service
Lastly, you want to look at how efficient a brand’s after-service is before choosing them. We usually recommend choosing a brand or manufacturer that guarantees constant support even after you’ve bought the machine. Some manufacturers go as far as providing training for buyers. Apart from that, the machine’s workload means that it’ll face technical issues once in a while. You’ll need a manufacturer that can guarantee to help you when the machine begins to develop minor operation faults.
There you have it, a detailed explanation of everything you should know about an acrylic laser cutter. If you are just hearing about this machine for the first time, chances exist that you’ll develop an instant interest in it. This article puts you through all that information you’ll need about an Acrylic laser cutting machine.