desktop laser cutters

Essential Things to Know About a Desktop Laser Cutter

Working from home is becoming easier by the day thanks to the new inventions of machinery. Equipment that was once bulky and heavy only for use in the workplace is becoming more accessible for home use. This is because the manufacturers are making a more user-friendly version of everything, including a desktop laser cutter.

Therefore, if you have a passion for crafting at home, you should rejoice in this invention because it allows you to work effectively. What’s more, a desktop laser cutter is more affordable than its standalone counterpart. This article outlines more about desktop laser cutters.

What is a Desktop Laser Cutter?

Initially, laser cutters were equipment used for industrial purposes because of their bulky nature. If you wanted something done using a laser cutter, you would visit an industrial area and give all your instructions. Fortunately, as technology advances, so does the equipment. Today, you can enjoy your crafting activity at home or in your office, thanks to desktop laser cutters.

A desktop laser cutter is a machine that creates designs and patterns by cutting into various surfaces and materials. Unlike the traditional laser cutter, you can easily carry this one and place it on a raised surface to start crafting. It uses a powerful laser beam to melt, burn, or vaporize the surface you are making crafts on.

How does it Work?

Many people are usually in awe when they find out how a desktop laser cutter works. As mentioned, it uses a powerful and highly focused laser beam to cut through materials and make designs and patterns. The type of technology deployed on the machine determines the laser generation. However, the laser refracts off the surface of a mirror and passes through a lens to aim it before hitting the workspace.

Upon getting in contact with the surface, the laser either burns, melts or vaporizes it away. Once it breaks through the surface, the laser begins cutting through it using either the G-code or CNC to know where to cut. The laser beam follows the vector file holding the 2D design to cut through a material until it creates the desired image.

A desktop laser cutter functions similarly to the industrial one, although the former handles less intensive tasks. It offers incredible accuracy and produces excellent details when put to work. The laser cutter offers a comprehensive list of applications. Besides, it can cut through various materials, including paper, wood, metal, cardboard, acrylic, and leather.

Types of Desktop Laser Cutters

There are plenty of laser cutters on the market. However, we only focus on the most common desktop laser cutters in this article.

CO2

The most common type of desktop laser cutter is the CO2 one. A CO2 laser is quite affordable, making laser cutting accessible to everyone with a passion to create designs,  patterns and sculptures. It is made by passing an electrical current through a glass tube full of gases, CO2 as the main gas. There are two mirrors at the end of the airtight glass tube whereby the electricity that flows through the tube intensifies the gases, triggering them to produce light.

The light refracts on the mirrors in the machine and is then aimed through a lens and exits the laser cutter. The exited light hits the material to begin cutting through. CO2 lasers produce smooth finishes and offer quick speeds.

Fiber

Fiber laser cutters are relatively new to the industry offering avant-garde performance. A fiber desktop laser cutter cuts through thin sheets of metal to produce components. The good thing about fiber lasers is that they are more electrically efficient than CO2 lasers. In addition, they have a low maintenance cost given their reduced moving parts. What is more, they feature steady construction that prevents destruction in transit.