If you’re a hobbyist or professional creator, then a laser cutting machine can be a great investment, but they’re not right for everyone. Even the most affordable laser cutting machine comes with a much higher price tag than your average craft materials, but they can also be used on a wide range of projects and to perform a variety of work.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a laser cutting machine, here are a few things that you should consider first.
What kind of projects do you want to do?
A laser cutting machine will let you do a lot of creative projects. From engraving glass to creating monogrammed leather wallets, the possibilities are nearly endless. A less powerful laser cutting machine is great for use on a range of materials like paper, leather and wood and will allow you to test out a range of ideas without investing thousands and thousands of dollars. Products with more powerful lasers will allow you to cut thicker materials or materials like plastic and glass. The type of laser cutting machine you choose should depend on what kind of project you plan to go ahead with.
What is the software like?
Certain products will use different types of software for developing the designs that your machine will etch or burn into the material, and not all software is created equal. If you’re a beginner then you’ll want to opt for a laser cutting machine that runs on software that is relatively simple to learn. Those who are more experienced with using the machine however might be open to trying out more complicated and powerful types of software.
What is your budget?
Your budget will have a big influence on the laser cutting machine you choose. Prices can range anywhere from just a few hundred dollars right through to several thousand. The most expensive machines are usually used for industrial purposes and will command huge price tags.
What type do you need?
There are different types of lasers available to choose from. C02 is the most common type that hobbyist uses as they’re versatile and capable of working on a variety of thicknesses and materials. C02 laser use a gas filled chamber to focus their laser and they’re generally not used for metals and they typically not quite powerful enough. Fibre lasers are also another type of machine that you may consider. Fibre lasers are usually very low maintenance and experience very long lives. They use glass fibres to amplify their light. Fibre lasers are most often used on metals, amongst many other types of material like wood. Crystal lasers are the most powerful of the lot. These lasers are often used in commercial settings, such as for dentistry or medical practices. They’re also often used by the military.
What to look for when choosing
When choosing your machine there are a number of things you should look out for. First how powerful is it? And is it capable at cutting at a high speed or will it take a very long time to complete a project? You should also think about how noisy it is and how much it will vibrate when it’s in operation. Additionally, don’t forget about your safety precautions. Most machines will get hot and will require proper ventilation as they can create fumes that could be dangerous to your health.
Take these questions into consideration before shopping for machine and it should help you decide whether it’s a good purchase for you to make. They are a great product and useful for many different kinds of project.