Start Here October '20

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S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 Here are a few general guidelines that are useful in selecting a laser: • Acrylic, laserable metal, and wood sheet material for making plates and products are available from industry suppliers in 12-by-24-inch sheets. • If you focus mostly on making tro- phies, 30 to 40 watts does the job well; 50 to 60 watts is better for a lot of cutting. Bigger than 60 watts is useful in cutting plastic or wood thicker than 1/8 of an inch. • Baseball bats, shovel handles, axes, and other long tools and sporting equipment need a wide laser bed in the 36- to 48-inch range. • Lasering a lot of glassware including bottles, mugs, tumblers, and other round products warrants an invest- ment into a rotary device for your laser. • Lasering large quantities of products such as promotional items can be served best with a larger table size and a new camera system. • Mixing technologies such as UV print with laser cutting works much better with a camera system, as registration for the cutting operation is much quicker and more accurate. EXHAUSTING YOUR LASER A laser burns away material or evapo- rates it into a gas that must be safely car- ried away. Your laser will need an exhaust. You can purchase an exhaust motor that pulls the air out of your laser and pushes it through piping to the outside. Lasers are often exhausted through the building roof or out the back. Permits may be needed, and a government agency inspection may be required. Motors can be loud so if possible, you may want to mount it on your roof. HVAC companies can usually install them. Another option (that does cost more) is to purchase a filter system made to exhaust a laser. They can sit near your laser(s), remove all the bad materials, and exhaust fresh air back into your laser room. Filters must be changed out based on your laser usage. Both systems should be cleaned on a scheduled basis. WHERE DO I PUT MY LASER? Often they are put against an outside wall of the shop. If you will exhaust it outside, decide on and set up your laser's home before you receive it. Remember, your laser needs power and you may want 22 Laser Engraving

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