Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

I had my CO2 Laser Cutter for a couple of weeks now and in case you missed it, I've written up my initial experience with it over a three part article (part 1, part 2, part 3). I've had a bit of spare time to play around with it a little more, did some cutting and engraving on various materials and at various settings. These are my findings.
This laser cutter broke within a month of operation so I urge you to buy one like it at your own risk. Read my follow up post about it here.


The very first material I tried was a piece of left over bamboo board from my bamboo floor. I didn't try to cut it, just engrave it. In both cases the same text was engraved, 'Testing', but at different levels set for the current regulator. The thicker text is set at about 3/4 power and the thinner is 1/2 power. It worked as expected, thought a little too deep for my liking.
CIMG6073.JPG


Here's a video of the engraving. It looks like when the engraving mode is active, the cutting head behaves like a printer, it engraves one line at a time where each line is a pixel wide, then moves down to the next line, engraves, and so on. Basically it doesn't do continuous movements in this mode.





Cutting mode is different, it tends to follow continuos lines as much as possible.

I've tried cutting 4.5mm acrylic next. Results were pretty good, though I noticed that it took several passes to cut through the 4.5mm sheet. I noticed that if I slowed down the cutter to say 5mm/s it actually cut through 4.5mm acrylic in one pass, but that caused the plastic to heat up significantly and made it warp. The best approach I found was to cut fast (15-20mm/s) and just do multiple passes.

Here's a piece of 4.5mm acrylic that I cut out and next to it is another piece with a line cut through its centre on a single pass over the material. It's clearly visible how far the laser beam penetrated in this case. The cut was not square, as expected, since the beam was most focused in the centre. The cut would always have a slight angle that would get more visible when cutting thicker materials.

CIMG6080.JPG CIMG6082.JPG


Engraving onto metal was tough. No matter how high I set the laser power, on the engraving setting it never put a scratch on the metal. When I switched to full power cutting setting, I finally managed to produce some results. It was barely a scratch but was now visible. I guess 40W was just not enough to make a mark on metal.
CIMG6092.JPG



Now what about cutting AND engraving on the same piece, like a keyring decoration? It's possible but you have to do it as a two step process. First do the parts you want engraved, then cut out the shape. Here is an example that I made...

CIMG6083.JPG CIMG6084.JPG


I used Inkscape in all cases. For the engrave/cut combination I found it the easiest to just make two files, one for the outline of the shape (cutting) and the other for the text/design (engraving). The text/design file must also include the outline of the overall shape. If the outline is not included in the engraving file the software will reposition the laser cutting head and the shapes will not align when cutting, so be careful.

Here are some videos of the laster cutter in action cutting some blister pack plastic. I would not recommend cutting this in closed quarters, or ever really! I'm showing it here as an example because it generates a lot of fumes, these are visible in both of the videos below.





If you have tips for this kind of machine please feel free to add them in the comments below.

-i

Please leave your comments or feedback below!
comments powered by Disqus
Other posts you may like...
Hi! You can search my blog here ⤵
Or browse the recent top tags...

Recent Blog Posts

WebLogic Maven Plugin - How to fix the MojoExecutionException: The artifact location was not specified

jPhotoFrame version 0.4 released with a whole new layout engine

Upcycling a couple of old broken lamps to create something amazing

A custom exception mapper and writer for a RESTful JAX-RS Jersey service

How to fix Plex error - Sorry there was a problem playing this item

Jersey JAX-RS filters and interceptors execution order for a POST request

Fix your Mac - users not showing on the macOS login screen when FileVault is enabled

BMB-012 Nanoblock T-Rex Skeleton Model assembly

Writing a custom MessageBodyReader to process POST body data with Jersey

How to make Skype for Business responsive again on macOS

Recent Galleries

BMB-012 Nanoblock T-Rex Skeleton Model assembly

Tiny Arcade revision 6 kit assembly and decal application

Atari Lynx repair - Part 5 - McWill LED screen mod installation

Atari Lynx repair - Part 4 - screen cover replacement

Atari Lynx repair - Part 2 - re-capping the motherboard

Atari Lynx repair - Part 3 - broken speaker replacement

Atari Lynx repair - Part 1 - introduction and case disassembly

Building a custom Atari Lynx game box storage shelf unit in a day

Protecting old Atari Lynx game boxes with snug fit plastic sleeves

Monument Valley 2 is released and does not disappoint

Blogs and Friends

Matt Moores Blog
Georgi's FlatPress Guide
Perplexing Permutations
The Security Sleuth
Ilia Rogatchevski
Travelling Fairy

Blog Activity

Blog Activity