Lasers are often one of the best additions that can be added to an industrial manufacturing facility. It is very precise, quick and can work with a variety of materials. With all of the necessary equipment, such as an automatic height adjuster, you will be on your way to machining parts much more efficiently with a laser cutter. However, when operating the laser, there are some mistakes you can make that can lead to you not getting the results you wanted.
Scale Your Drawing
Do not forget to scale the drawing before you set it up. This can be done by selecting the "scale" command in AutoCAD and then the reference point. Then, you can type in the scale factor.
Don't Make Thickness An Essential Parameter Unless Necessary
If possible, try to make a design in which the material thickness is not an essential parameter. Manufacturers sometimes send materials with a thickness range that can be as much as 15%. Therefore, you may end up with a material that your laser will not be able to cut to the shape that is necessary for your application.
Have Appropriate Margins And Boundaries
Your material will need margins and boundaries. There needs to be at least a 1/4 inch margin around your material. In the AutoCAD program, etching needs to be placed on a separate layer. By using the right layout, you will be able to improve the efficiency of your laser.
Make Sure You Will have Space For Your Laser
Before you are able to begin using a new laser, you will need to make sure that you have the space to fit the laser and the equipment necessary to move it. While there are small desktop lasers, some larger lasers may require more space and might be difficult to hoist to the third floor. You will also need to account for the cost and space requirements of an exhaust and cooling system. The exhaust is either handled with a fan and duct system or with a fume extractor system. Also, if the system is water-cooled, you will need the tubes and pipes necessary to deliver water to the laser.
If you are not able to fit a laser in your production facility, or if you do not want the smell and the additional noise that can be produced by laser cutting operations, it may be a good idea to outsource some of your operations to a laser cutting service.