Buying a laser cutting machine is a great way to start a small business since you can work on all kinds of projects like designing furniture, creating promotional materials, screen printing, and more. If you want to focus on wood as a material, the first thing to do is to learn more about different features that can be found in various types of this material. Not all of them are good for laser cutting.
Also, the processes you will be using must be suitable for the type of wood. For example, softwood requires lower output, and the benefit is that you can process it much faster. On the other hand, if you are looking for durability and high quality, hardwood like cherry or oak are great solutions, but they require more power and the process will take more time. There is also a coniferous type, which you should avoid.
If you are planning to start with this business the first and most important thing is to find a good machine. There are numerous options available on the market. However, it can be risky if you focus only on the price and buy some cheap options from an unknown producer. On the other hand, there are premium models available for an affordable price as well, and you can check more at Wattsan. Also, here are some tips that will help you start the right way.
Preparation is Crucial
There is no need to rush when you want to apply something on wood. Even if you know how to use the software and you determined the design, there are some other things to prepare as well. For instance, you should consider the need for masking so you can get a clearer picture of the wood. The traces of smoke may appear on low-quality wood, and this is the only way to prevent that.
Moreover, be sure to select the right settings. These machines are offering all kinds of outputs for different materials. Therefore, check if the selected model is the right one for applying symbols on wood. Before you start with your project, always test the laser on the same material so you can be sure that everything is in the right order.
Use Layers for Complex Work
If you are planning to apply a simple symbol with a plain design, the process will be fast. However, you might get disappointed if you continue using the same settings for more complex applications. That is the reason to start using layers. When it comes to wood, the picture can get a much better design when layers are applied since the depth of different lines and details will be different.
In that matter, be sure to select the layers that will determine the depth and thickness of different details. In combination with the right settings and wood, you will be able to create amazing details, and that is especially beneficial if you want to design furniture.
Consider the Features of the Wood
There is a risk that the picture you applied won’t have the same features as you created in the software, and the reason for that is related to some specific features of the wood you chose to engrave. There could be various anomalies, like an uneven area underneath the surface you processed, which will affect the application. Testing is the best way to be sure that you will avoid these issues.
Use the Right Optics
This is another very important thing to do before you start using this machine on wood. The selection of optics must be different related to whether you want to apply applications or cut the wood. If you use the wrong model, you will either destroy the material or make the process much longer and more difficult.
For example, using the optics for engraving while trying to cut the material. Also, there are different types of optics for engraving, and you will have to choose the right one according to the type of wood and its thickness.
Plywood is the Best Option
The main challenge with different types of wood is that you will have to deal with burn marks and stripes that will affect the design of the application. On the other side, plywood is the perfect solution since it represents a combination of the same sheets glued together. Therefore, each layer is the same, and there won’t be issues if the optics are cut to deeper layers. However, be sure to use a stronger output when applying models on this material.
Use the Right Software and Settings
There are different options you can choose, like AutoCAD, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. Each one of these has some benefits. The most important thing is to set the right parameters where you will determine each detail of the process. In that matter, you must be aware of the features of the material that you are processing so you can set the right speed, output, thickness, and other details.
Benefits and Downsides
One of the biggest advantages that you will get is that you can apply complex applications to wood, which won’t be possible with any other method, especially if the material is more fragile. Starting this business is also very affordable, and you can easily set the machine by only using a manual.
When it comes to potential downsides, the biggest one is related to potential issues with the software and settings since they can be quite complex, and you will need some skills and experience to operate the machine in the right way.
As you can see, the key is to never rush with your modeling when using a laser cutting machine. Always be sure to set the right parameters and settings so you can avoid issues where you will have to replace the piece of wood you were processing since you damaged it. It is necessary to use different output and settings for different types of wood, and you will get the right design only if you follow this rule.