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One of the skills required for CO2 laser engraver and cutters is to try to avoid scorch marks on the edges of the engraving. For some materials, burn marks are unavoidable no matter where the laser's focus is. However, by using the correct substrate and following the directions carefully, you can minimize time-consuming cleanup during the cutting process.

In this article, we'll tell you what types of wood to avoid, and provide helpful tips on using lasers to cut wood without burning it.

What causes burn stains on cut wood?
The first thing to understand is that the laser beam never actually touches the surface of the wood. Just like inside a chimney, soot from the combustion of organic matter can deposit in the surrounding area. So there's no need to worry about laser damage to wood; it's just one example of taking precautions to avoid soiling woodworkers.

S10 Pro laser wood engraving

There are several ways to avoid these stains, the most popular is to apply tape to the wood surface. You can also modify laser cutter settings, apply coatings, use atomstack air assist—and make sure to choose the right wood, preferably one with a high moisture content.

Choose your wood carefully
Certain types of wood are better suited for laser cutting than others, mainly because of the amount of binder used to make certain wood materials. Laser cutters tend to work best on softer woods with simple grain patterns, such as alder and basswood.

Materials like plywood and MDF are more challenging due to their high glue content - but if you do need to use them, you always have the option of using tape, coating or sanding.

Softwoods: Softwoods such as balsa and alder require a low power setting and can be easily cut without too much resistance. Using lighter wood results in minimal contrast between the original surface and the newly cut edge.
Hardwoods: Hardwoods like cherry and oak are more likely to scorch than balsa because you need to use a stronger laser to engrave or cut the surface. The result of this is darker edges and a higher chance of burning.
Veneer: Veneer lumber uses wood as a surface material, so it works well for carving in many cases. It may not be suitable for laser cutting, depending on what the core material is.
Plywood: Plywood is one of the more difficult substrates to cut without burning, although it is possible if you use our tips below. It is one of the most versatile materials and comes in many sizes and styles. However, you'll want to choose one that's designed for laser cutting, such as birch plywood.
Even the wavelength of the laser can affect the cutting edge of the material and a 1.06 micron fiber laser is not recommended. Conversely, 9.3 or 10.6 micron fiber bundles produced the fewest burn marks when cutting wood with a CO2 laser.

Resin content
The sap or resin content in the wood can make a huge difference when using a atomstack s10 pro laser cutter. Materials with a high resin content like alder are more prone to charring or have dark edges, while oak has a lower resin content and is better for a bright, clean cut.

test before starting
The type of wood you choose and even the thickness of a particular wood can have a big impact on your finished product. Speed, power, wattage and your environment also play a critical role. Therefore, we recommend that you always do a material test on offcuts before starting.

5 Tips for Preventing Burns When Laser Cutting
With a little patience and practice in the initial stages, there are some simple solutions to prevent burn marks from CO2 lasers.

1. Use transfer tape on the wood surface
You can apply masking tape to wood surfaces, but application tape comes in ready-made wide rolls that work perfectly with atomstack a5 pro laser engravers. You can apply tape to both sides of the product for a perfect clean. Use a small plastic spatula to firmly press down on the tape, making sure there are no air bubbles that could interfere with the cutting process.

The main disadvantage of this strategy is that it is time-consuming to apply the tape and then remove it. To make money with a laser cutter, speed is paramount—removing tape piece by piece can seriously impact productivity. Don't worry though - you can choose to use a plastic razor to effectively remove the tape.

2. Modify CO2 laser power settings
There are several settings you can use to avoid burning. Once you find a setting that works for each wood, you can jot it down to speed up the process in the future. The focus of the laser can be manually adjusted to make it slightly smaller. A slightly diffused laser reduces the amount of smoke produced while still providing enough energy to engrave or cut your material.

youkey23 Aug 22 · Tags: atomstack laser

Laser cutting involves using a high-power laser beam to mark, cut, and engrave items from flat sheets of material. A laser cutter machine can cut through materials such as acrylic, wood, plastic, fabric, and more up to 1” thick.

Laser engraving is a process that allows detailed artwork, text and photos to be etched into the surface of blank materials. It's a great way to personalize products and add emotional value to everyday items. Laser cutting and engraving machines can engrave or mark materials such as wood, acrylic, plastic, glass, metal, fabric, granite, marble, and more!

Everyone wants a laser engraving and cutting machine, but depending on your needs, you may not need or have room for many of the larger models of engraving equipment on the market. Maybe you're looking for a career of your own, or maybe you're retired and looking for a hobby to keep you going. Either way, this is a technology that should be on your wish list.

Launched the first portable, lightweight P9 M50 laser engraver

best P9 M50

This machine is easy to move, light weight and can be carried by one person. Just connect the P9 M50 Laser Engraver to your laptop and you can engrave, mark and cut anywhere, anytime. Adding a deep cycle rechargeable battery will allow you to take it from one job site to another. Take your portable laser machine to sporting events, fairs, craft fairs, and anywhere else there's a market for personalised gifts and souvenirs!

The open bottom design allows you to engrave, mark and cut larger materials that would not fit in traditional boxed machines. The lightweight portable laser engraver is very easy to install and remove. Put the small laser machine on the lift cart, roll it anywhere you want, and set up the store. Just pump up the lift cart, slide the sawhorse underneath, unload the lift cart, and you're good to go! When placed on a sawhorse, you can roll items under the laser head for laser processing. Its unique open-bottom design allows the laser machine to be placed directly on the floor, countertop, or even the hood of a car to complete engraving.

This machine is the perfect size for enthusiasts. Even if it never leaves your home, the portability of this machine means you can use it in your living room or store it in a hall closet.

In terms of cost, this portable engraver is cheaper than many other hobbies like model railroads. And that doesn't even take into account the money you can make from what you can produce.

atomstack r3

A laser engraving business can be highly profitable because machines can personalize products quickly, precisely, and repeatedly. Laser engravers let you convert bare surfaces in seconds! They provide faster speeds than any traditional hand engraver, allowing you to streamline processes and work efficiently.

A laser engraving business can be highly profitable because machines can personalize products quickly, precisely, and repeatedly. Laser engravers let you convert bare surfaces in seconds! They provide faster speeds than any traditional hand engraver, allowing you to streamline processes and work efficiently.

The machine itself, is a one-time cost. That being said, it makes sense to spend money on high-quality hardware rather than risk product quality and worker safety with less reliable products. After all, you can break even quickly and start expanding your business thanks to the high return on investment, speed and throughput that laser engravers offer.

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