Laser Cutting/Etching

posted Feb 19, 2015, 6:49 AM by Tim Hammill   [ updated Jul 27, 2015, 1:40 PM ]

The Center for Innovation and Creativity in Education features the Epilog Mini 24 Laser. With a cutting space of 18 X 24 and the ability to etch curved items, the Epilog Mini 24 is capable of handling most any project!

The laser cutter is one of the most useful tools in the fabrication and prototyping process. Laser cutters work by directing a very powerful laser beam, at a precise focal length, onto a material which they either cut or etch, depending on how the laser cutter has been set up. Laser cutters cut materials similarly to other computer controlled tools, only they do so using a beam of light as opposed to a blade. When laser cutters are set up to etch something on the surface of a material, they operate like a printer, literally using their laser beam to etch an image onto something.

Epilog Laser

Engraving Speed settings determine the travel speed of the carriage as it moves back and forth in Raster Mode and as it profile cuts in Vector Mode. Speed is adjustable in the print driver in 1% increments from 1 to 100%. The slower the speed, the deeper the engraving or cutting. Speed settings are heavily dependent on the hardness and the thickness of the material being engraved, with harder materials requiring slower speeds for deeper engraving or cutting. In Raster Mode, state-of-the-art optimization software allows the carriage to skip through all white space both horizontally and vertically, increasing laser on-time rates, which further enhances overall throughput. Engraving Power is the amount of laser power that is applied to the material surface. At a given speed, higher power will produce deeper cutting or engraving. Adjustable in 1% increments, the power can be controlled either from your computer or from the control panel on the engraver. Power can also equate to speed. A 45 watt laser can travel faster than a 25 watt laser and achieve the same depth of cut into wood without a subsequent loss in quality. This means you can produce more products faster. A 45 watt laser will also cut through marginally thicker materials than a 25 watt laser

The Chart below details the settings for the 30 watt laser in CenterICE.
Laser Settings