Engraving with Air Assist
Laser Engraving is a lot of fun to do, from wood to leather, acrylic, paper stock and fabric laser engraving can make a simple item outstand a crowd. For example, you could engrave a cool logo on your laptop or name on your cell phone, or you could also engrave your family crest on your kitchen cabinets and so much more. By personalizing and creating unique items can make their value increase exponentially.
The air assist plays a key role during engraving as well as in cutting (as we previously saw). The constant air flow is important, but the effect depends on the amount of air pumped, which will cause different results on the piece being worked on. Before we go into that, let me tell you a couple of reasons why the air flow is important:
- The most important reason is to help prevent the ignition of the fire.
- The second reason is to prevent the smoke [from the material being worked] from getting into the lens casing because if that happens, the lens will get dirty and not work properly.
- Third, it will also clean up the work area of any debris that may be in the way.
When engraving on:
Acrylic: it is best to engrave with low to medium flow so the gas is not pushed down to the material making it hard to clean.
Leather: use low to medium, also remember there are leather conditioners that can be applied after engraving to enhance the result
Wood: Engrave it with high airflow; it will make the smoke go back to the material, creating a darker contrast engraving. If the edges are a little messy you could use some masking but in general terms, the wood with a smoky touch looks great.
Paper: try to do it with very low air especially if using white core paper and engraving solid large areas, after engraving you can use a dry cloth to clean it up gently so all smoke will come off of the piece.
Granite and Tiles: is best when engraving with a lot of air, there will be some dust around the edges but it cleans easily with a dry cloth.
Although these are simple ideas based on our experience, there is nothing better to do than to try it for yourself and see what you (or your clients) like the most.