This process started when I purchased a laser cutting and engraving machine while I was in design school. I was able to use the tool to make decorative, and high-end wood products and I loved it. After leaving Holland and moving to Malaysia, I started my owner laser business. I liked to cut and engrave the tropical wood, and my company was doing well. It was harder to set up the machine then I initially thought. There are many factors and problems I faced in running a business, and I had to find ways to solve them. These tips can help out a lot for your business.
After being in business for two years, I realized there are many factors that people do not know about operating the laser machine. They can take a lot of time to fix and can lead to some serious problems. The tips I provide can save you time if you are looking to run a laser business.
These tips may vary with machine, usage, and setup.
1. Research the Machine, Different Supplies, and Your Business
A laser machine is going to be a significant investment and different brands. The machine comes in different, powers, and have different functions. Some are better for production while others are bigger and slower and should not be used for this purpose. Bigger machines allow you to engrave lager items so before buying a machine think about what you will be okay.
Do your research on the different laser suppliers and distributers. Read the feedback on the different companies and how fast they can get their materials to you. I have purchased from a supplier that did not have a lot of items in stock. I had to wait up to three weeks to get what I needed.
2. Set up the Company
The first thing I noticed was the humidity level of the company. Holland has much lower humidity levels than Malaysia, and the compressors for the air machines are very different.
Make sure you can get parts easily if needed. Make sure the power supply has enough room since you will need to power the power supply, air filter, a computer, suction, and have a water drainage area. Make sure the machine will be free from dust and can be cooled down with air conditioning if needed. The machine will make a great deal of health.
Be sure the machine has a connection for the electric cables. The electric laser tube is where most of the power is generated. Without this cable, the laser tube can break within a year.
3. Compressor is Important
Each laser machine needs air support or compressor. The compressor you need will depend on the level of humidity, the size and type of the laser, and the amount of power the machine puts out.
The technician sent by the dealer should always set up the machine, the air support, the suction, and the drainage. They know the machine well and make sure they do this for you.
I needed to use a different compressor in Malaysia than in Holland due to the humidity. You need to make sure the air blowing out of the machine is clean and dry. Some compressor uses oil and water. This is not good for the machine. They will stick to the lens and then can even burn a hole in the lens. This is something you want to avoid. You can see if a lens contains water and oil.
When testing to see if the air is clean and dry put A4 paper under the head and let the compressor runs. If dirt shows up on the paper, it is not clean.
4. Automatic Water Drainage System
When living in a humid climate, the compressor will give off a lot of water. The water is stored in the air compressor tank. This needs to be emptied often depending on the humidity. The auto drainage tank will empty the water automatically. You need to keep an eye on the machine when it is running.
5. Usage and Air Support
When the machine is running, you need to watch the air support. The air support is high for cutting than engraving. If the support is not high enough the item will catch on fire. If this happens to turn off the machine and adjust the air support.
6. Air Flow and Air Suction
If you have good air suction on your machine, any fires should go out on their own.
The air suction will remove the smoke and oxygen when you are operating the laser. Smoke can make the lens dirty and start a fire. The suction needs to be dominant, and the exhaust should be installed outside. Be sure the suction is sealed properly. Open spaces will cause the suction to become weak.
If the suction is not working correctly, smoke will come out of the laser chamber.
7. A Honeycomb is needed for small objects
If you are always going to work on large objects, the standard metal strip will work fine. If you are going to be cutting objects that are smaller than an A3 you need a honeycomb. If you do not have this, the object can fall to the bottom of the machine once they have been cut out. This can bump into the head of the laser and cause problems or severely damage the machine. You can damage significant parts and will need to replace them. Like mentioned before it can take several weeks for your parts to come in if you are not working with the best company.
This is another significant investment, but it is well worth the cost. You can allow the machine to run on its own and the laser will not directly hit the bottom of the machine plate. I have used a metal strip for the last two years, and the plates have turned black and ugly. The plates should not cause an issue even with the heads burning on them.
For all your laser cutting needs in Vancouver, contact the guys at the Trophy Centre:
Trophy Centre LTD.
2071 Kingsway Ave, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 6N2