If there’s one tool that’s coveted by Makerspaces more than any other, it has to be the laser cutter. These high-precision machines can produce both functional and beautiful items. Their versatility allows anyone with access to one to quickly go into production with his or her designs.
Go to your local indie craft fair and I bet you’ll find laser-cut jewelry. Craft stores are stocked full of laser-cut scrapbooking items. Even big-box stores are not immune to the awesomeness of laser-cut items, offering laser-cut window curtains, holiday ornaments, fixtures, and more.
The power of the laser cutter comes from its ability to cut through a wide range of materials with high precision. Drag-knife cutters - like those on craft cutters and vinyl cutters - can’t penetrate hard and thick materials, while a laser can slice through them like butter. And a CNC router has a hard time creating ultra-sharp details (think about cutting a letter V: the outside edges can be cut away sharply with overlapping passes but the inner point can only be as pointy as the diameter of your router bit). A laser’s beam is so narrow that it can give you that precise detail.
Building structures with laser-cut parts has become a well-defined practice. Plugins to automatically generate boxes are available for the popular vector graphics application Inkscape, making it a snap to create a case for a project. Captured nuts with tab-and-slot construction make parts easy to assemble and take apart, unlike glued builds. In fact, desktop 3D printing wouldn’t be where it is today without laser cutters — MakerBot, Printrbot, SeeMeCNC, Ultimaker, and many other companies started out producing 3D printers largely made from laser-cut parts.
So how to choose a machine which is the most suitable for you?
There’re some tips you need pay attention:
1. What material do you cut? So we can see that if laser cutting machines can do your work.
2. What size of your material? So we can confirm what working area of machine you will need.
3. What thickness of your material? Because different material, different thickness, it need different laser power to cut it. If you just engrave on the material, laser engraving machines with small power will be enough.
After you confirm these three basis points, we will be more clear to recommend you suitable machine configuration and help you to find the machine exactly.
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