What is a laser cutter?
What is it?
What it can do
When engraving the laser head will move rapidly back and forth across the sheet, removing the material line by line, similar to how an inkjet printer works. When cutting, the laser head will produce a strong beam to penetrate the material and cut through it. By adjusting the output power, speed, and number of passes, we can find the optimal settings to engrave and cut any laserable material.
In addition to simply cutting and engraving, we also assemble it into various objects, such as a box with a lid. This requires more thought to be put into the design process, and often some trial and error to get the pieces to fit properly, but can be a great way to create unique and very useful projects.
What it can’t do
Although acrylic is generally considered safe for lasering, it is still a thermoplastic that gives off fumes when heated up, so a well-ventilated work area is a must.
Other types of plastic may look and feel similar acrylic, but they can give off toxic fumes when heated, so they cannot be used on a laser cutter. Some plastics that should be avoided include PVC (commonly used in piping and various types of foam), Teflon, and epoxy, among others.
How is it different from a 3D printer?
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