What is the difference between cast acrylic and extruded acrylic?
Acrylic comes in two forms: Cast and Extruded.
Cast acrylic is used for almost all engraving purposes because when it is engraved it produces a white, frosty look that makes for a nice contrast against the clear material whereas extruded acrylic remains clear when engraved.
For this very
Why would I need a galvo laser?
Galvo lasers are available in both CO2 or fiber laser configurations and their primary advantage is that they offer far superior marking speeds when compared to plotter lasers.
If you need to engrave medium to high volumes then a
Let’s look at a real-life example – we needed to mark 12 tags at a time; with a plotter laser it took 10 minutes whereas on a
Say you ran this job for a full day the plotter would produce a maximum of only 48 cycles (12 tags each cycle) whereas the
To look at it another way, if it takes 8 hours to complete the work on a plotter laser, it would only take 3.2 hours on a
Apart from speed, another thing to consider is if you already have a CO2 plotter laser and want to start doing some direct metal marking then a small
What is the difference between a raster image and vector image?
A raster image is made up of small pixels; common examples of raster images are jpegs, bitmaps, photographs, scanned documents, images you copy and paste from a website, etc. You may have noticed that some images have a rough or fuzzy pixelated edge – this is a tell-tale sign of a raster image.
A vector image is not made up of pixels but instead is made up of (vector) lines; common vector file formats are .cdr, .ai, .dxf, .eps, .pdf. Objects/designs made up of these lines can be very easily scaled up or down without having any impact on the edge quality and you have full control over what outline and fill
What is the best way to clean my laser optics?
Ensuring your optics are clean will help your laser system perform its best. If smoke, resin, or other contaminants are allowed to accumulate too heavily, they will reduce the available laser power and may cause damage. Dirty optics can also greatly reduce the engraving and cutting quality of your machine so it’s very important to keep them clean. The focus lens and mirror directly above it get exposed to the most about of smoke and residue so these will need to be inspected daily and if they’re dirty then you’ll need to clean them. Any additional accessible mirrors should only need to be inspected every 3-4 weeks and cleaned as required.
To clean an optic if possible first remove it from the machine (if not possible to remove it this can still be done in situ) and blow off any dust and debris using clean compressed air. Then apply a few drops of cleaning solution to flood the optic to help loosen and dissolve any contaminants. Finally, use a wet cotton swab or lint-free tissue to gently wipe the
Can you laser cut multiple parts stacked on top of each other?
Yes but it depends on what material you want to cut. This is generally more common when cutting thinner materials such as paper or fabrics.
For certain materials like white paper or
Is the Laser Marking Solution for metal and glass/ceramics the same?
We recommend MarkSolid Laser Marking Solutions
What is the air assist option and when should it be used?
The air assist option (standard on most popular laser engravers) directs a stream of compressed air or gas onto your material, primarily to aid with the cutting process – it can be used for engraving as well but generally is not as it tends to dirty the material surface more than when if not used.
There are a number of different styles of air assist, the two most common being either a ‘cone style’ that directs the compressed air perpendicular to the material and directly down into the cut or a ‘tube style’ which directs the air down and at an angle towards the rear of the machine. There is also an air curtain design where the compressed air is pumped out from the bottom of the X-axis gantry through small holes creating an air curtain effect across the width of the work area. Each type has its own advantages – with the cone style it
The downside with the cones is that you must use compressed air 100% of the time – even during engraving – otherwise you can damage your lens. Plus you only have limited clearance between the bottom of the cone and the material during cutting/engraving so if your material is not flat or if a part tips up during cutting there is a higher risk of it crashing or it can be difficult to engrave into recessed areas. With the tube
What’s the difference between a plotter laser and a galvo laser?
Galvo lasers are available with either CO2 or fiber laser sources and the primary difference is the way the beam is directed from the laser source onto the material. With plotter
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ABS ENGRAVING PLASTIC AND ACRYLIC BASED ENGRAVING PLASTICS?
HOW DO I GET A MARK ON BARE METAL PLATES WITH MY CO2 LASER?
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REMOVE SMOKE RESIDUE AFTER LASER ENGRAVING?
If engraving wood you have a couple of options:
(1) If the wood has been sealed/lacquered you should be able to remove most or all of the residues with a damp cloth, however, if the wood is raw you may need to use some fine sandpaper to remove the residue – we recommend having some 220 grit sandpaper on hand in case you ever need it
(2) Alternatively, you can be proactive and use a light to medium tack masking paper first and then engrave it into the wood, allowing the residue to settle on the mark instead of your part. Then after the job simply remove the mask to reveal your perfectly clean engraved design
For materials other than wood
(1) You can try using Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) to clean away any leftover residue
(2) Another tip is to use the Bottom-Up engraving feature found in your print driver (a standard feature on Epilog Lasers). In standard top-down engraving, there can be a large amount of engraving debris generated and as that debris is pulled towards the exhaust ports at the rear of the machine, some of it will collect in the areas that have just been engraved. The Bottom-Up function reduces the amount of smoke and residue so that it is not dragged across freshly engraved marks. This feature is particularly useful for two-ply engraving plastics where you are engraving through a
Regardless of the material you are engraving it is also a critical factor to make sure you have sufficient extraction otherwise the smoke and residue will hang around and settle on your material instead of being immediately sucked away after engraving
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH DPI SETTING TO USE?
I HAVE A MAC, CAN I USE IT TO RUN MY LASER?
Yes, but there are some caveats. If you are lucky enough to own an Epilog Fusion M2 Laser then these come with a dedicated Mac driver which can run your laser directly from your Mac computer without the need for any additional programs. If your machine does not provide a dedicated Mac driver then you still have a couple of options;
(1) Boot Camp for Mac – after loading Windows on to your Mac you then have the ability to choose between running Windows or Mac OS when you first boot up.
(2) Parallels for Mac – similar to Boot Camp however with Parallels you can run both Windows and Mac OS simultaneously so you don’t need to reboot each time you want to change between operating systems.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING MORE LASER POWER?
WHAT IS THE BEST FREQUENCY/PPI SETTING TO USE WHEN LASER CUTTING DIFFERENT MATERIALS?
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE MOST SUITABLE FOCUS LENS TO USE ON DIFFERENT JOBS?
1.5” Lens – Typically for high-resolution engraving. Recommended for raster engraving above 600 DPI resolutions, for small fonts or fine details. Produces a spot size of around 0.08 to 0.14mm in diameter and provides excellent results when cutting thin materials (less than 1mm)
2.0” Lens – Standard lens on most laser systems. Multipurpose for both engraving and cutting applications, recommended for raster engraving from 300 DPI to 600 DPI resolutions and produces spot size of 0.1 to 0.18mm in diameter.
4.0” Lens – Produces focused beam over longer vertical distance. Specialty lens typically used for engraving within recessed area (bowl or plate) or for cutting thicker materials providing a straighter cut edge.
what is laser marking?
Laser marking involves the marking of
Almost all materials can be marked with a laser. Laser markings are water-proof, wipe-proof and extremely durable. They can be created quickly, automatically and for individual applications.
Consequently, manufacturers from various industries use flexible and permanent laser marking as their preferred method for marking parts.
Fiber Lasers and CO2 lasers are ideal radiation sources for the majority of laser marking applications.
what is laser engraving?
Unlike other engraving processes, laser engraving is entirely contact-free. The material is fused and
High-precision 3D laser engraving is a process used especially for filigree texturing and engraving in
A new process in this area is 3D
what is laser cutting?
Laser cutting is now more effective and easier than ever before. Due to their compact design and
Whether cutting inlays, signage, labels, templates or high-precision cut parts in a range of materials – we have a variety of systems to suit your needs.
Laser cutting is a thermal separating process that creates complex geometries using a focused laser beam. Laser cutting is able to process different metals, plastics, timber, organic and other materials.
what is computerised engraving?
The two most common cutters used with these machines are D-bit cutters, which are sharpened like a V and are spun during the engraving process in order to cut and engrave the material, and the other is a diamond tipped cutter, which is dragged along the surface of the material creating a scribe that is commonly used on different metals.
what is cnc machining & routing?
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines are available in many configurations, covering a multitude of machining applications and industries. Turning Centres (CNC Lathes) are predominately used for the processing of round components but also available with dual spindle and multiple
Machining Centres (Vertical, Horizontal or Universal) are predominantly used for processing prismatic parts, and combine operations such as drilling, reaming, boring, milling, tapping and thread milling, which are available as 3, 4 or complex 5-axis simultaneous operation.
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