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Laser Cutting of wood

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by tecteach, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. I use my 60w laser cutter on a regular basis and it has made a real difference to the quality of pupils work. However, it does leave a rather unsightly dark brown edge on the laser ply that I buy from Technology Supplies. I have used sanding to remove this and although it works, is very time consuming. Therefore, I have the following questions :
    1) Does anyone know of laser ply that cuts without leaving a mark on the edge ?
    2) Has anyone come up with a better technique of removing the edge without resorting to sanding it away ie wiping down with some sort of fluid ?
    I am at the point of making the dark brown edge a design feature to save lots of time !
     
  2. I use my 60w laser cutter on a regular basis and it has made a real difference to the quality of pupils work. However, it does leave a rather unsightly dark brown edge on the laser ply that I buy from Technology Supplies. I have used sanding to remove this and although it works, is very time consuming. Therefore, I have the following questions :
    1) Does anyone know of laser ply that cuts without leaving a mark on the edge ?
    2) Has anyone come up with a better technique of removing the edge without resorting to sanding it away ie wiping down with some sort of fluid ?
    I am at the point of making the dark brown edge a design feature to save lots of time !
     
  3. Well without stating the obvious the laser is burning through the material so on wood based product you will get a charing effect. My only other suggestion would be to route it out on a CNC machine if you have one but this will take more time.
     
  4. Simon67

    Simon67 New commenter

    What happens if you turn the heat settings right down? I've only tried MDF on our 30w machine, and can't say that was successful...!!
     
  5. First, thanks for the replies, I am cutting through at the zero setting and know I am burning through the wood. I would like a router and am working on that one but it would give some compromises.
    I have found using a dremel type of machine has worked in removing the charred edges with great success but it does limit design as they have to make sure any internal radii are larger than the small sanding disk I use.

     
  6. In the end that is probably a good thing as it will make them think about the processes involved and thus gain marks.
    After all it isn't a really good industrial process for cutting wood as it would be done by a milling machine as you say or a punch. An 'abrafile' blade can sand very tight corners by the way.
     
  7. Its doubtful that a laser will cut wood or wood based materials without leaving a black edge... accept it & incorporate it as part of the product.... I use our 30w laser mainly with 3mm MDF... experiment a bit & select the fastest setting at which the material will be cut, this will minimise any charring... sanding after cutting sort of defeats the object of using CAD CAM, in my view anyway!
    (have a look at www.ponoko.com)
     

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