Whether you are a seasoned engraver or a novice, mistakes are unavoidable. It could be a result of human or mechanical error. The bottom line is that these things happen. Luckily, The Engraving People are seasoned enough to dish out some practical advice on how to prevent them. So, without further ado, let’s delve into 5 common mistakes made in laser engraving and how to avoid them.
1. Botched glass engravings.
At first glance, it is evident that glass is a fragile material. That is why it is so easy to botch up an engraving when it is involved. Oftentimes, the laser cracks the surface or in a bid to be careful, the engineer does not engrave deep enough. Thankfully, either one of these issues is preventable.
For one, you could use a lower resolution since it widens the separation between the recorded points. Also, simply placing a wet paper towel on the areas you want to etch prevents excess heat. Then as a finishing touch, polish areas with glass chips using a smooth sponge.
2. Using a blanket approach for wood.
This is one of the most common mistakes, especially since wood is one of the easiest materials to engrave on. The thing is that different kinds of wood react differently to lasers. With lighter woods like cedar or cypress there is an easygoing contrast once the laser hits the wood. Then there is dense wood like Birch which needs more of a kick to engrave.
3. Skimping on machine maintenance.
After a long day of etching, you are not the only one who’s fatigued. Your equipment equally needs a little touch up and maintenance to function properly. Basic things like cleaning your equipment can make it function better. Also endeavor to take a look at the lenses and mirrors at least every week. They need frequent cleaning to ensure that their equipment stays in tip-top shape. For more specific tips be sure to check out the user manual of any equipment used.
4. Burning through fabric.
There is no blanket temperature to use when lasering through different materials. Depending on their thickness and surface area, different materials require different lasering temperatures. So, before you work on any fabric or material, do some research. Acquaint yourself with its properties so you can better understand the temperatures it can withstand. Even more, spare a little piece of the material to do a surface test on. That way, you can properly understand what is needed.
5. Neglecting to save preset conditions.
Working smart and not hard should be the aim of every artisan. With that in mind, you should never neglect to save preset conditions for different materials. There are so many different settings on a laser, so once you find the perfect cocktail you need to save it. Believe us when we say that finding those perfect settings is no easy feat. So, before you move on to the next project, save those settings. Once you have this down, you do not need to waste time trying to tweak your machinery every single time.