The Lasersaur BOM comprises everything to make laser cutting possible. Still, for production use the system needs to be complemented with a few more accessories:
- Fire Extinguisher
- Work Surface
- Air Assist
- Air Exhaust
Fire extinguishers come with different agents. You can choose between effective, clean but expansive (Novec 1230), ozone depleting and deprecated (Halotron), effective and messy (powder), clean but less effective (CO2).
We recommend having both a CO2 and powder extinguisher next to the Lasersaur. For small fires the CO2 will work sufficiently well while the powder one will be effective with more serious fires (when messing up the machine with powder is not the primary concern anymore).
The table surface has the function to support the sheet material both before and after cutting (potentially many small parts). At the same time the contact should be as small as possible to prevent flashback and burning on the underside of the work piece. Typical surfaces are:
- Aluminum Honeycomb - e.g. from Plascore (PCGA-XR1-2.5-1/2-P-3003) or McMaster (9635K37)
- Aluminum Eggcrate - e.g. from this ebay sale or ebay search
- Array of Drywall Angles - These are very common lightweight 90 degree angles used for drywall construction. They can be found in most hardware stores.
The air assist is typically compressed air run to a coaxial nozzle (see Thingiverse) in front of the lens. Alternatively nitrogen can be used when fire hazard or charring is of concern. Starting with v12.08 the air assist is fully integrated in the reference design.
For previous versions the recommended way of running the air assist is directly to the head with an arm mechanism like this (see video):
Laser cutters produce fumes, dust, and debris that need to be properly evacuated. This is typically done with some kind of air exhaust system that actively blows air from inside the cutter to the outside of the building. What "properly" means is highly dependent on the specific application and on local laws and regulations.
Please be aware that we cannot give legal advise nor cover all circumstances and location in which a Lasersaur is being used. Please make sure you operate your system in accordance with all applicable laws.
Basic Components and Requirements
Air exhaust systems typically consist of an exhaust blower (fan), air ducting and fittings and some filtration. Air filtration can be optional depending on the materials being cut and location of operation.
The ducting should run from the system to the outside of the building. The blower is typically attached at the end of the ducting for noise considerations. A good air duct installation is smooth, at least 100mm (4") in diameter, less than 5m (15') long, and should have increased diameter if longer distances are necessitated.
The amount of air being evacuated should be more than 10 m3/min (360 CFM) and preferably 15 m3/min (530 CFM). As a comparison, typical kitchen exhausts evacuate around 6 m3/min. Also be aware that building exhaust vents and exhaust volume per minute are often highly regulated and require permits above a certain size/amount. Make sure to comply with your local laws.
A filtration system is often necessary when operating in densely populated areas and/or when cutting certain materials. In this regard paper, textiles, cardboard and wood are less problematic than synthetics like acrylic, PET, and delrin.
Generally we recommend attaching outlet ducts to the right side and adding inlet vents to the left side of the Lasersaur. We have also successfully used ducts at the bottom of the machine without special inlets. The actual air evacuation system can be anything from commercial filtration machines to repurposed hydroponics blowers.
Please see the list archive for details on this topic and feel free to ask further questions. Many solution exist to this and we are still looking for a particularly well suited one that works in a wide variety of settings and locations.