While today’s laser cutters offer benefits such as high precision, cost efficiency, and repeatability, there are certain things users should consider before giving it a try. Below is a list of things to know about laser cutters.
They Can Only Use Vector Files
Non-vectorized, simple drawings are insufficient to create objects because they lack the information the machine needs to do its job. Only a vector file will work in these situations. Those new to computer-assisted design can find ready-to-use vector files online, or they can consult a designer for help. However, software such as Sketchup or Adobe Illustrator can do the job easily. Most laser cutters accept vector files in .EPS, .DXF, and .SVG formats.
Find the Right Materials for the Project
Every project is different, and finding the right materials is important. Before starting, the creator should be aware of the material’s properties. For instance, if an object will be exposed to heat or humidity, MDF or cardboard should be avoided. However, these materials can be suitable for prototyping or for those on a limited budget.
Consider the Kerf When Designing for Assembly
One of the best things about laser cutting is that parts can be easily assembled. To be successful, the user must allow space between each part to be assembled. If objects must fit into one another, the kerf must be considered.
Nodes are Important
If pieces are to fit into one another and remain connected, nodes are essential. A node is a small bump in a piece’s tabs or slots that allows compensation for the varying thicknesses of the kerf and the material. Nodes are compressed during assembly, and they focus friction on certain points rather than the entire surface of the slot. The greater the density of the material, the narrower the nodes should be.
Laser Cutters are Good for 3D Work
3D printing and laser cutting are two of today’s best digital manufacturing techniques. They offer low setup fees, design freedom, and other benefits. With a combination of 3D cutting and laser printing, designers can quickly design, prototype, and produce. Find out more on Youtube.com/BossLasers.