The laser settings determine the output of the cutter. For example, a faster speed usually indicates that the machine will have less exposure time to your material, and vice versa. The four main types of machine setups include:
The power setting controls the energy level in the laser device. It is worth noting that as the power increases, the energy levels in the laser also increase. In general, the energy required to penetrate a material generally varies by type and thickness. Deeper cuts and vertical walls require more energy than thin tapers because more energy is required to remove more material.
NOTE: Extremely high energy levels can cause burnt edges and smoke. Overall, lower power results in straighter edges and shallower cuts. At the same time, more power results in wider edges and deeper cuts.
Speed affects how fast the laser carriage moves. There is a direct relationship between speed and power (energy). To do this, you need to understand that the longer the exposure to an area, the more energy that area receives. Therefore, we can conclude that velocity can be used to control the duration of energy concentration at a point.
Lower speeds result in slower cuts but deeper cuts, while higher speeds result in faster but shallower cuts because less energy is concentrated on one point in this case. Understand that your designs may end up with bad edges if you are extremely slow or too fast.
Frequency settings for laser engravers are usually measured in Hertz (HZ). This decisive parameter represents the number of laser pulses generated in one second. For example, CO2 lasers have a frequency range of 1,000 Hz – 60,000 Hz.
In some cases, frequency may also be referred to as pulses per inch (PPI). It gives you ultimate control over how many times the pulse can be highlighted at a given object distance during the engraving or cutting process. Note that the higher the frequency, the more output pulses are generated. This eventually causes the pulses to overlap, resulting in a smoother cut.
However, higher frequency values mean more heat is generated during the cutting process, which can cause some materials to char or melt. At the same time, the lower frequency means fewer pulses are generated in a spaced manner, which often results in perforated lines.
Focus is important to provide the best cutting results for different material thicknesses. Laser beams are required to "focus" the light on a specific area in order to engrave or cut.
To adjust the focus of the laser engraver, you will need to adjust the Z axis down depending on the thickness of the material you are using. Just measure the thickness of the material you want to engrave, and adjust the engraver's backup based on the thickness level achieved. You can focus your laser cutter with single or multi-lens optics, usually depending on the diameter and focal length of the free aperture.
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