What opportunities do affordable laser engravers give us?

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Article: What opportunities do affordable laser engravers give us?

  1. What opportunities do affordable laser engravers give us?

    0 Comments by Elton29 Published on 02-12-2018 09:48 AM
    First, let's define what is engraving? This drawing of an inscription, a picture, an ornament, manual (so, labor-consuming) or a mechanical (automated) method on the surface of metal, stone, wood, glass, acrylic, plastic, leather. I will tell you about one of the mechanical methods, namely, laser engraving.

    With the help of laser engraving (even at home!) You will create your own unique masterpieces of art for your home interior as well as for your order.
    Create your own small leather workshop!

    The engraver applies the drawing in a time of 30 seconds to 15 minutes, depending on the laser power, the complexity of the drawing, the type of material, the method of engraving.
    The engraving method can be slow point-to-point (for raster images) or fast along continuous lines (for vector images). We have already tried many materials - paper, cardboard, plywood, wood, film, plastic, acrylic, glass, leather, rubber, aluminum.

    Thanks to the complete automation of the processes, it is possible to draw both a simple geometric figure and a complex pattern. The power of available diode lasers is between 500 mW (engraving only) and 5 W (engraving and cutting) at a wavelength of 445 nanometers (blue).
    What additional options does the laser provide besides the standard drawing of materials? Cutting material and creating stencils for etching or welding! For example, using a 3.5 W laser, we cut a figure in PVC 5 mm thick, at a perimeter speed of 3 cm / min.
    I cut 4 mm plywood with a laser and forced the removal of combustion products. It was possible to make stencils for creating printed circuit boards and etching aluminum.
    Especially beautiful stencils will delight you and your customers.
    Which CNC devices can I install a laser? These are popular Chinese DIY-designers, or 3D-printers, which are controlled using the programming language gcode. Some enthusiasts collect their devices on stepper motors (RepRap or MakeBlockplotterXY2.0 kit), as it is an exciting complex task of interfacing electronics and firmware, guiding and stepping motors. Since the laser housing has several holes with a thread, it is universal in terms of fastening to the device. I have already successfully attached the laser to 3D printers (Wanhao Duplicator i3, BFB3DTouch, Prusa) and DIY-designers (on universal aluminum frames, MakeBlock).

    These devices differ from each other in the area of ​​the working surface (from 200 * 200mm to 310 * 390mm), the presence of an additional degree of freedom (movement in the Z axis), purpose (for example, 3D printing and engraving as "2 in 1").
    What software can I use to work with lasers? These are programs that convert raster images to vector, and vector ones to gcode. For example, free distributed programs InkScape, SketchUp, GBRLcontroller, Repetierhost, Cura.

    We tried low-power (~ 500-1000 mW) lasers. With their help, you can really engrave. Immediately obvious industrial production, universal fastening with 2-3 screws. These https://www.bestadvisor.com/laser-engraver are the most affordable models and even a schoolboy can start doing something creative in his garage. Maybe this will be the beginning of the history of the new Ford-experimenter.
    I hope that my article helped you learn about the possibilities of laser engraving at home! Thank you!

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What opportunities do affordable laser engravers give us?

What opportunities do affordable laser engravers give us?