Top 10 tips for first-time laser cutter operators.
Don't look at the laser!
This one should be self explanatory but it's not, so I will say it again, don't look at the laser when it is running it will make you go blind! If you must operate the laser cutter when it is open get yourself a set of safety glasses.
Get a CO2 fire extinguisher!
Other types of fire extinguishers are not rated for this type of fire and you may get electrocuted when using them! A CO2 fire extinguisher is the best and make sure it is placed in a visible place that is not over the laser cutter or That you would have to reach over a fire in order to grab it.
The easiest way to start a fire is by having junk inside your laser cutter. Make sure you keep your laser cutter clean to reduce fire risk.
You do have to maintain your machinery. Any machine that has metal rubbing on metal requires oiling on occasion. Sewing machine oil works great.
Use distilled water!
Distilled water is the only type of water to use to keep the laser cutter running for a long time.
Laser cutters don't like operating above 85°F!
Make sure you have a real water chiller to maintain a safe temperature between 65 and 75°F. Once the laser cutter starts to get hot the laser tubes lifespan will reduce as well adds its output.
Never run your machine above 80%!
When you run a laser cutter above 80% you are wearing it out unnecessarily. There are many YouTube videos that we'll show you that lasers output isn't really increased above 80% so there isn't any point in running it high it anyways.
Positive versus negative pressure!
You should create a negative pressure system. This one is a little complicated so you should look it up but having your air source at the end of your filtration system is the best.
The four hour rule!
Never run your machine for more than four consecutive hours without a half hour cooldown.
Create a safety list!
You should have a list of all the materials that are okay to cut printed out somewhere in your shop. Putting the wrong material in your machine can be hazardous for you, or the laser.