Are you interested in getting a desktop laser cutter? If you’ve heard about them but you’re not quite sure what they are or what they do, they might have piqued your interest. A desktop laser cutter can be a great thing to have as a hobbyist, they’re ideal for a range of precision projects that you might struggle to do manually and they can work with a lot of different types of materials.
A desktop laser cutter is designed to cut through everything from wood to fabric, paper, cardboard, and even leather. There are a lot of other things that they can engrave like glass or stone. There are also a number of materials that can’t be cut and can actually pose a danger to you and your desktop laser cutter. Read on below for more information.
What materials can I cut?
A desktop laser cutter is more than capable of engraving attractive designed into wood surfaces. It’s one of the most common materials to see them used with. A lot of hobbyists will create a range of exciting and interesting projects with wood–making things like puzzles, toys and jewellery. Generally, these machines are designed to cut into wood so you don’t have to worry too much about using them for this purpose but you should watch out for oilier woods or woods that might have other materials inside them. Common examples of this might be pine. These wood varieties are much more likely to catch on fire and the laser could ignite your materials rather than engrave them.
Paper is another really common material to use with a desktop laser cutter. It’s possible to create some very intricate designs with the laser and it’s one of the reasons why many people decide to invest in one. Machines designed to cut vinyl often simply cannot get the same level of intricacy when being used on paper. Machines designed to deal primarily with paper are often very lightweight and usually less powerful. The laser beams that these machines emit are typically very fine and for that reason it’s quite easy to create very detailed designs.
If you’re trying to create your own fabric craft then a desktop laser cutter can be a great way to do it. There are a lot of fabrics that are suitable for cutting, including cotton, felt and fleece. You can also create designs on denim, lace, polyester, silk and linen.
Leather is also a common material for creating great designs and it can benefit greatly from graving of etching with a laser beam. It’s possible to etch out very ornate designs or to change the color of the surface of the material. Be aware that using leather in this type of project can create some strong smells, as you’re essentially burning animal hide. With this technology, you can create a range of fun items like belts and wallet. Make sure when designing something that your material is not too thick and you must also be careful that it’s not fake. Pleather can cause a lot of damage to your machine.
Rubber is another one that you can use. There are a lot of projects that you can do with rubber, such as creating keychains, toys, stamps and more.
Cardboard is another good one. You typically will not come across many problems when using this material.
It’s important to note that some harder materials, like glass, can only be engraved as the laser beam will not be strong enough to cut through.