31 May '16, 5pm

How to Fail at Laser Cutting

How to Fail at Laser Cutting

Very thin plastics can deform from the heat of the laser. Narrow lines bend from the heat, and pieces can get a slight “bowl” shape as the corners lift up. Annealing the plastic by leaving it for a couple of hours in gentle heat just below the material’s softening point sometimes helps. Some types of plastic end up with tacky edges where the cut happened. A wipe with mineral spirits will clean that up. Laser-cut wood tends to smell like a campfire. The smell will dissipate over several days if left somewhere in the open (preferably in sunlight.) To speed the process up, I have had promising results from wrapping small freshly-cut pieces in a foil bundle and putting the bundle into gentle heat (100-120F) for a couple of hours. When engraving or cutting a white or light-colored plastic it’s easy to contaminate the freshly cut or engraved surface (which is full of micro-ridge...

Full article: http://hackaday.com/2016/05/31/how-to-fail-at-laser-cutting/

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