28 Apr '16, 5pm

Up-Close and Personal with Laser Cuts

Up-Close and Personal with Laser Cuts

The beam of the laser is focused to a spot that *should be* at the top surface of the material. This means that the beam is a cone that comes to a point at the surface, and spreads out below. When you cut out a circle (or hole), the circumference of the top of the hole will be smaller than the circumference of the bottom, and if you cut out a rectangle you’ll find the sides angled in or out. Acrylic has a “focusing” property such that melted Acrylic tends to focus the beam below it, which is why the spot should be on the top surface and not in between surfaces. There’s also the spot size, which is the “kerf” of the cut. Lenses with a short focal length can have smaller spot sizes, but the angled effect is then much greater. Using a lens with a longer spot size gives you sides which are closer to parallel, at the expense of having a wider kerf. You might not think this has ...

Full article: http://hackaday.com/2016/04/28/up-close-and-personal-with...

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