When using a CO2 laser engraver/cutter to work on wood, smoke or burn marks may appear on the edges. Though the stains are difficult to avoid, they are not completely unavoidable. Here are 3 ways to prevent the edges of the wood from getting stained.
1.Cover the wood surface with masking tape
Before you start engraving on wood, cover the working area with masking tape. The masking tape will prevent the edges of the engraving from getting stained and will not leave any residue behind. This is a common method not only because the tape is cheap and at hand, but also because masking tape can be easily removed, leaving no trace on your creations. Give it a try next time when working on wood materials.
While the upper wood engraving is covered by masking tape, the lower one is not, causing obvious burn marks on the one without masking tape.
2. Adjust the focus of the laser to an optimal distance
An optimal distance of laser focus will keep the burn marks at bay while still allowing for fine results. There is no worry about how to adjust an optimal distance of laser focus for varied types of wood materials. Try out different focus settings to see what works best. With the built-in autofocus system in FLUX beamo, you can easily find the right focus without the hassle. After the adjusted focus, you will find your works clearer and better.
3. Testing various types of wood in advance
Different kinds of wood have different optimal working speed and power. Certain types of wood get burned easily, this usually has more to do with the glue binders embedded in the material rather than the original property of the wood. The glue binders cause more smoke and burn stains when being laser processed. It is advised to test the speed and power in advance to reduce burn marks on wood crafts. The Material Testing Suite in Beam Studio that comes with different working speed and power combinations enables users to test out the parameters on the material, so you can determine the combination that best suits your needs.
When working on wood next time, give these tips a try and make your creations better!
One of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers is what materials can Beambox cut and engrave. So let’s talk about this laser cutting technology, and from a machining perspective, different types of laser and what they’re commonly used. for.
The major part of the laser cutter is the laser beam, the beam determines wavelength and power, therefore determines the material that it can cut or engrave. There are three main types of lasers used in laser cutting, solid-state laser, fiber laser, and CO2 laser.
1. Solid-State Laser
Solid-state lasers, one of the most ancient techniques, use a crystalline or glass rod which is “doped” with ions that provide the required energy states. The most common two are diode laser and Nd:YAG laser.
A laser diode is a semiconductor device similar to a light-emitting diode in which the laser beam is created at the diode’s junction. You usually see this technique in CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc reading/recording and laser pointers. Usually, the power of diode laser is lower than 10W, for instance, the laser engraving module of FLUX Delta+ uses a 200mW diode laser. The low power, slow engraving speed, and the dark color of the results, making diode laser ideal for small quantities of non-metal engraving.
Nd:YAG laser uses neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet as an active laser medium with a wavelength of 523 / 1064 nm. This wavelength can be easily absorbed by metal, so it is suitable for metal engraving, but not for non-metal engraving. A higher spec of this laser can operate in pulse mode to adjust the color of its results on metal. The laser power is usually smaller compared to other types of laser, but it is more powerful and faster than diode laser, so it is ideal for metal engraving.Most laser marking machines we see use an Nd:YAG laser, very suitable for large-quantities and small-area metal marking in factories.
2. Fiber Laser
Fiber lasers are a type of solid-state laser that is rapidly growing within the metal cutting industry. Fiber lasers are pumped by semiconductor laser diodes, it supports high output power because of the fiber’s high surface area to volume ratio, which allows efficient cooling. The fiber laser is suitable for metal engraving and cutting, but not for non-metal (except for engineering plastics based on resins). Though this type of laser is more pricey, the high optical quality and speed make it an ideal choice for commercial metal marking and cutting.
3. CO2 Laser
The carbon dioxide laser was one of the earliest gas lasers to be developed, in this type of laser, the electricity runs through a gas-filled tube, to produce light.
40W – 150W CO2 Laser:
The wavelength of this laser is 10640 nm, can be absorbed by most organic materials, so it is very suitable for cutting and engraving on non-metals, including wood, leather, paper, acrylic, rubber and more. Glass, rocks, anodized aluminum can be engraved on. When a 50W machine operating at full power, the temperature of the focus point is close to 300° C, materials with a higher melting point cannot be cut, but if covered with a special coating, even metals like stainless steel, titanium can be marked.
1000W+ High Power CO2 Laser
CO2 laser alsocomes in 1000W – 5000W, and it can cut metal as well. This technique is more developed than others, the results and precision is better than fiber laser though it is more power-consuming.
Let’s take a look at the awesome chart that sums up this article.
High-power CO2 laser
One Last Thing
Beambox and Beambox Pro is the latest product FLUX proudly presents, a 40W / 50W desktop CO2 laser cutter that is perfect for laser etching and cutting on non-metal materials. Beambox comes with a camera alignment feature, a super active user community and an in-house software that supports Windows 7+ / Mac OS X / Linux, and with our special coating, you can also engrave on metal! Beambox is the best choice for designers, makers, schools, and studios who want to make full use of the laser technology to turn their ideas to life, at a very reasonable price. Please click here for more details.