Laser Cutter Basics

Buying a Laser Cutter.

Ever wanted to run your own small parts and memorabilia business? With the latest hobby and industrial sized Laser Cutter, enthusiasts are finding laser cutting to be a very satisfying and low cost hobby or profitable business. Millions of people
laser cutter head
have managed to create successful businesses using or selling the objects they created after buying a desktop or professional laser cutter. There is a broad range cutting machines with various sized work spaces and laser power ranges available on the market. Almost all of them are compact, inexpensive and offer a fair level of complexity and finish.These advantages make desktop laser cutters a great choice for amateur part builders, hobbyists and those that want to start a small business making memorabilia like laser engraved acrylic blocks, photographs engraved on pieces of wood, etc. So if you’re buying one, here’s everything you need to know about a Laser Cutter.

What is a Laser Cutter?

A laser cutter is a device that uses a laser to cut 3D models out of solid materials using 3D graphic data you feed into it from a computer. Laser cutters vary in price, size, power, and can be customized to your application. A desktop or small laser cutter is simply a machine that uses the same technology and principles as a large industrial professional laser cutter, but is small enough to fit on your desktop. It is possible to design create various kinds of small plastic/acrylic parts, accessories like earrings and hobbyist parts using CO2 laser cutters. The only downside with smaller machines is that you can’t create very large models due to the limited cutting platform.

Average Laser cutter price?

You can purchase a cheap imported Desktop Laser Cutter at around $1500 to $3000. However, if you’re looking for a quality machine that will last you really long without having to buy a new co2 tube every 3 months, it’s worth investing a little more somewhere in the $3000 to $5000 range for a more professional grade laser cutting machine. Though most cutters in this segment offer similar or nearly matching capabilities, the higher priced brands are often more sturdy and last longer than cheaper imported machines. If you’re planning on doing some serious sculpting and etching, it’s always better to go for a high priced model with better features.

What is a CNC Laser cutter?

A CNC laser cutter is simply a device that you don’t have to operate manually. Most desktop laser cutters these days are completely CNC’d (Computer Numerical Control) and link directly to 3D graphics software on computers. Making hobby parts or laser cut jewellery has never been easier. Buy a machine, design a 3D model and you’re ready to bring your imagination into reality.

Can A Desktop Laser cutter double as a Wood Laser Cutter?

Of course. Hobby Laser cutters these days can cut virtually anything as long as the block doesn’t form explosive or toxic gases on heating. Wood is one of the best mediums to use in Laser cutters as it is soft and cuts easily compared to other harder synthetic materials. Pieces of wood can be intricately carved, etched and engraved within the confines of your desktop laser cutter. Think beautiful miniature wooden models.

Is there such a thing as an Acrylic Laser Cutter?

Technically, any desktop laser cutter can handle Acryclic blocks. You can create beautiful and complex engravings inside a block of acrylic and you can also etch/engrave and cut acrylic to make great looking jewellery. Acrylic is the favored medium of most hobbyists because it’s easy to cut, emits lesser fumes and a lot less debris compared to other plastics. Acrylic also looks a whole lot neater when cut into parts, jewellery or models. The fact that acrylic is see-through can affect monitoring during cutting, but with the kind of accuracy that desktop cutters promise these days. That shouldn’t be a problem.

Where you can find Laser Cutters for sale.

If you’re buying new, you can directly contact the companies that make Desktop Laser cutters. Most have sales reps that will want you to buy their model. Since you will be investing a significant amount of money in your cutter, it’s best to do some in-depth research online about the features you want most. Almost all companies will ship directly to your doorstep and they offer service and warranties. If you want to buy used Laser cutters, it’s safer to check the machine before you buy. A Desktop laser cutter is an intricate piece of machinery and it needs care and regular maintenance in order to function properly. A demo is a great way of finding out if you like a desktop cutter or not. So now that you know everything about a Desktop Laser Cutter, you can go out and buy the right one with ease.

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