Are you looking for the perfect tool to help create beautiful materials that make learning more interactive and fun? Look no further than a laser engraver!
Whether you are a teacher, school staff member, professor, or community organization leader, using a laser engraver brings endless possibilities for creative projects. From custom name tags to 3D letters and nostalgic wooden boxes, these high-tech tools offer an exciting way to produce exciting items quickly and easily.
If you want to start incorporating this type of technology in your classroom, you might wonder what is needed to run a laser engraver. Even though it’s a relatively new printing method, it’s still easier than other techniques. Plus, the things you need are easy to find. After that, you only need to find the right subject for this type of activity.
Understanding the Basics of Laser Engraving
Laser engraving leaves a mark on a material’s surface through a super-focused laser beam. It’s when vaporization happens when the laser’s heat leaves a permanent mark, which turns the solid material’s surface into a gas and releases fumes. The fumes are then extracted through an extractor system, such as a filtration unit or exhaust blower.
Since laser engravers are designed to be super easy to use, they can easily and quickly engrave your desired designs on different materials. The engravings are precise and accurate, making this the perfect tool for numerous arts and crafts projects. It’s also perfect for personalizing items like mugs, glassware, wooden boxes, and much more.
To get started, you must find out what equipment is needed to run a laser engraver, how to make it work, and any additional safety measures you must take. These will help you achieve a successful project with your students.
What You Need to Run a Laser Engraver
Apart from a laser engraver, there are other things you will need to start the process seamlessly. And it’s essential that you already have all of this additional equipment on hand before you begin to use them in the classroom to prevent any delays.
Equipment and items required for laser engraving:
The first thing you need to do is to choose a material for the engraving. Ensure these are ideal for your laser engraving machine to prevent complications. It must also be the best material for your future projects, i.e. safe for classroom use.
Choose from the following materials:
- Plastics and acrylics
Apart from choosing the suitable material, you must pair it with the correct settings for optimal results. For instance, you don’t want to choose a high power for soft materials like leather as it might burn the material.
You need a computer, where you’ll work on your graphics to create the design you plan on laser engraving on your chosen material. It’s where you will also configure the laser to meet the specifications and engraving results you wish to achieve, such as its power, speed, frequency, and focus.
- RAM: The RAM of random access memory will determine the computer’s efficiency. The higher the RAM, the better the results of your laser engraver. It’s best to have 16 MB of RAM for laser engraving machines.
- Processor speed: The suggested processor is i5 for faster processing speed.
- Video card: Another critical component is the video card for smooth operation while working on heavier graphics.
- Hard drive: The hard drive is the permanent memory of your computer, which is also responsible for keeping your engravings safe and stored until you need them. Make sure to get one that has a large storage capacity.
- Software (operating system): Whether you plan on using Windows or OS, choosing an operating system compatible with your laser engraving machine is best.
When working with a laser engraver, you need graphics software to send the graphics to the laser engraving machine. You must choose the software you’re familiar with while also being compatible with the laser engraver.
Some popular software includes the following:
- Adobe Illustrator
- Affinity Designer
Make sure to familiarize yourself with these graphics software because each has different capabilities and features to help you design.
The exhaust fan will remove the odors and smoke the machine gives off. It’s also an essential tool for safety since it reduces sparks and flames while creating a safe environment. Ensure you have enough exhaust fans to keep the fumes away from people near the machine.
The result of a good exhaust fan is better quality since it also reduces the smoke residue in your system. Taking the time to install an exhaust fan can make a difference in a fume-free experience. Plus, you can choose from an exhaust blower or a filtration unit.
The exhaust blower is installed in the machine, drawing out the fumes from the machine and then blowing it out through the ducting. On the other hand, a filtration unit is a standalone exhaust unit that draws out the fumes from the area and passes through the filter, trapping harmful chemicals.
You can use many accessories with your engraver to expand your machine’s capabilities. These will help you complete more projects as you think of new activities in your classroom.
Optional accessories to consider:
- Cutting grid: You can either order or make one for classroom use. Apart from engraving, some machines are also capable of laser cutting. It’s best to have a cutting grid to help you make straight cuts with the laser.
- Rotary attachment: This particular accessory is excellent for engraving cylinders like pens or mugs. It rotates the material while it’s being engraved for a uniform result.
- Air assist compressor: An air assist compressor prevents flare-ups while reducing residue. It also helps in helping the laser focus and burn material away by blowing a steady stream of air. It’s one of the most popular optional accessories to improve laser engraving outcomes.
Importance of Having Complete Equipment for Laser Engraving
Laser engraving is about more than just using one material and getting the desired results immediately. It also involves preparing the different types of accessories and components that can ensure your machine is running correctly.
Now that you know what is needed to run a laser engraver, you can achieve the best results possible and prevent any potential snags, especially in the classroom. Of course, you’ll want to ensure your students are safe from harm while doing the project.
For instance, you’ll need an exhaust fan to ensure they don’t inhale too much toxic fumes. Also, choosing the suitable material for the project will ensure that the laser engraving will turn out as expected.
Overall, having complete equipment for laser engraving is an essential part of the process. So if you want to have a fun and exciting time with your students, ensure you have everything you need beforehand.
Prepare for an Exciting Laser Engraving Experience at School
Knowing what you need apart from the laser engraving machine is the key to a successful project. Getting the right accessories and equipment makes a difference in outcome and safety.AGC Education has a long list of laser engraving supplies ideal for your school projects and activities. Our Laser Lab machine is the perfect choice for any educational environment. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions. We’re more than happy to help you out.