Follow these simple laser cutting safety guidelines to remain safe while fabricating your projects.
One of the perks of owning a multitool 3D printer like ZMorph 2.0 SX is a larger number of digital fabrication technologies at your disposal. It’s so much more than a regular 3D printer thanks to the ability to CNC cut and mill, engrave with laser or 3D print with chocolate. Each of these technologies has their advantages but combined together, they give you the ability to fabricate truly unique projects.
Applications for laser in digital fabrication
For many 3D printing enthusiasts, laser cutting and engraving is often the feature that convinces them to switch from regular 3D printers to multitool machines. ZMorph laser toolhead provides them with means to fabricate projects like awesome laptop stickers, cutting and engraving leather watch bands or creating laser engraved portraits.
Multitool machines with additional laser toolheads give a whole new range of possibilities to all professional users and 3D printer enthusiasts out there. The technology itself pose other dangers than 3D printing, so it’s very important to always follow the laser cutting safety guidelines that we collected below.
ZMorph’s laser cutting safety guidelines
- Make sure that your laser cutting or engraving project fits the working space displayed in Voxelizer software. We recommend leaving a safe margin on the edges of the worktable, so there’s no chance for the laser beam to slip or reflect out of it.
- When preparing your file, try to set up the shortest path for the laser beam. Don’t prolong the exposure when it’s not necessary, although it might be required to engrave or cut through a thicker material.
- Always wear protective glasses or goggles when the laser toolhead is on, during calibration and the whole digital fabrication process. Please make sure that you’re using protective gear adapted to the 455 nm long laser beam. This is the most important and fundamental of all laser cutting safety guidelines!
- Always keep the plastic covers shut when the laser toolhead is on, during calibration, laser cutting, and engraving process. This way you can avoid any accidental reflections of the beam getting outside of the machine causing damage or injuries.
- To avoid unwanted reflections, you should also keep the laser lens clean as it can get dirty from digital fabrication residues. Cotton bud soaked in alcohol will do the job.
- Multitool machine mounted with a laser toolhead should be kept in a well-ventilated room with good air circulation. Some synthetic materials may smell bad, emit small amounts of smoke, and even toxic fumes (like vinyl materials, which we don’t recommend using).
- Consider arranging a separate, lockable space for laser works. This is how we do it in our workshop, so no bystanders get around the laser when it’s working.
- Dark materials are always better for laser cutting. Dark cardboard, plexiglass, leather, felt, EVA, and sticky foil will absorb the laser beam much better and you won’t get visible burn marks around the object or pattern. This rule does not apply to plywood and wood.
- Make sure that there’s a working fire extinguisher in your workshop – always have one near you when fabricating with a laser!
Safe fun with the laser
We hope that you’ll remember and follow our laser cutting safety guidelines listed above. When used properly, laser toolhead for ZMorph 2.0 SX multitool 3D printer can be a useful digital fabrication tool.
You should also consider using it in more complex, multi-material projects combining different technologies, like our own ZMorph’s Sample Pack or a custom mechanical clock built by one of our engineers. Possibilities are countless and just waiting to be discovered!