Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Using a Laser Cutter
In the past few years, laser cutters have seen an increase in popularity and usage. This means that many people who have never used these machines before are learning about all the benefits they offer, including accuracy, speed, and ease of use. It also means that some new users are not aware of some of the unique safety issues that the laser cutting machine presents. While there are safety tips available by visiting Boss Laser’s Facebook, there are a few tips found below, as well.
Never Leave the Laser Unattended While Firing
One of the main mistakes a new operator will make is no supervision of the machine while a project is being cut. Even though this is the case, a true laser cutter usually works quickly, but a larger project may take several hours to complete. Some new operators will leave the machine while it runs. This is considered a serious safety risk.
While better machines have metal cases (all plastic needs to be avoided), the heat of the laser hitting the case at the bottom may cause serious damage, start a fire, or damage certain electronic components. Usually, this occurs if the power settings are too high and the laser is cutting through materials and then concentrates on the bottom of the case.
The best way to avoid this situation and ensure neither melting nor a fire occurs is to make sure someone always attends the jobs as they are being cut. However, it is also necessary to have properly inspected fire extinguishers for easy access to the machine.
Don’t Cut Materials with Any Unknown Properties
Most people will associate laser cutters with cutting wood. However, there are other models that can cut metal, too. What some people find out when they buy a laser machine is that they can mark or cut a huge selection of materials, including acrylic, glass, stone, tile, cardboard, paper, fabric, and more. The cutting of these materials with a laser is going to release fumes that will be swept up by the exhaust fan. This will then send the fumes through the exterior ventilation system.
Even though this system is fine for safe fumes (fabric, wood, etc.), it is not designed to remove deadly fumes from the area where the operator is working. Some of the fumes that are dangerous include PVC plastic and other types of plastics. If the fumes from these plastics are inhaled, they can be deadly, even in very small amounts, which is why those materials should never be cut using a laser. When purchasing any type of material to cut with a laser, be sure to check with the supplier for any type of warning signs related to toxic fumes. If someone is unsure if a material is safe, they should avoid it altogether.
When it comes to cutting items with lasers, there are more than a few factors to consider. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to know how to safely operate a laser cutter.
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