Whether you are an experienced engineer or a novice, learning how to use designed equipment and avoiding mistakes takes time and experience. Designers occasionally wonder about problems that arise in their dealings and how they can improve things. This is also unusual in the case of laser engraving.
Knowing how to avoid these blunders is just as important as avoiding them. Here are five of the most common laser engraving mistakes, as well as ways to avoid them in the future.
- Laser burning through an engraving fabric’s material: This is ideal for determining which fabrics can withstand the engraving process and at what temperatures. Conduct an initial test on a spare material to ensure that it can withstand the temperature.
- Frosty appearance is determined by the type of acrylic used: This is determined by the type of acrylic used, as there are two types of acrylics known, namely cast and extruded acrylics. Cast acrylic is ideal for engraving because it can be easily cut with a laser, producing a frosty white colour when engraved but does not produce a frame-polished edge, as opposed to extruded acrylic, which produces a clear engraving rather than a frosty look but reacts differently with the laser engraving machine.
- Inconsistent glass engraving: Generally, lasers fracture the surface of glasses during engraving because this fractured surface produces the required frosty appearance, but it can be rough depending on the type of glass engraved. To avoid rough frosted engraving, use a lower resolution power as this will separate the dots you are engraving, change the black in your graphic to 80 percent black, and polish the area if there are shards of glass after engraving with a non-scratch pad. Wood engraves very well, but it reacts differently to lasers and produces different results. Denser wood necessitates more power to engrave than lighter wood. Depending on the type of wood you’re working with, grain density can vary. A large square engraved into a piece of cherry wood, for example, would have a uniform appearance, with the engraved area smooth. If the same square was engraved into a piece of oak, the appearance would be uneven and the engrave area would be rough. Always engrave bare wood from the bottom to avoid smoke and debris trapped in the grain of the wood, and after engraving, wipe the surface of all woods with a moist cloth.
- Laser engraver maintenance is critical: A well-maintained machine yields better results. Maintenance requirements are available in your laser machine user manual, so if you notice a drop in machine performance, consult the manual. Always check and clean the optics of your laser on a weekly basis, as these optics are brightly coloured and shiny, and if covered with debris, they may not function properly.
This is a common error made by new engraving machine users, but it is easily avoided. If you want to engrave your machines, contact us because we have the best solution for you.
For more information please visit http://www.inscribe.com.au