At the Workshop, we do a significant number of items, and every time we do something without proper masking, we hate that we cut the corner. There are many reasons why it is a good idea to mask all of your laser cut items, and this article will explain why.
When engraving a piece of material the action from the laser cutting beam “burns” the material in a fraction of a second and the material you are cutting has to go someplace. To protect the laser lens from debris and to aid in the cutting or to engrave the air assist will immediately blow all of that material and subsequent smoke right back onto the material and this makes it onto the surface being etched as well as the bare material you want to remain unchanged.
To give you an example we have taken a symmetrical design, such as this playing card, masked half of it and left the other side unmasked. After looking at the direct output of this card, you can see that the unmasked side has a hue of debris covering the entire design. There are some things you can do to clean this up, however, masking saves the time and as you will see in our end product some actual detail and color.
This second photo is of the playing card after the masking has been removed, you can see that on the masked side there is no smoke residue or discoloration to the image, at this point you could add a finish, color, or light sanding and be done with the product, however, if left unmasked there would need to be additional cleaning, with solutions, such as denatured alcohol and sanding to get the product to look similar to that of the masked side.
Finally, though the playing card was masked only on one side, you can do quite a bit with the use of alcohol to get the game card to come out decent. The entire card was cleaned using alcohol, and the card was in fact, dirty and stained the entire surface slightly due to the residue from the unmasked side. You can make out on the left side, that the masked side of the card is slightly darker as well, this is caused by the residue and smoke being forced back into the areas that were engraved, which is helpful since these areas were intended to be darkened by our engraving anyhow.
We highly suggest that when using our laser cutting services, you opt for the additional masking to be done, in the long run, you will end up with a better product, with less work to finish your item. If you have any additional questions about the masking process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Now that the laser has been properly installed in the workshop, the exhaust pipes plumbed, the water cooler, chilling, it comes time to get some of our speed tests out of the way.
When producing things on the laser it is important to factor in the time it takes to get different materials cut, while also running the laser at an optimal power so as to squeeze as much life out of the tube as possible.
So, stay tuned as we are going to be running through testing all of the materials we have listed on the website. As we go through them, we will be optimizing our laser times to best service soon to be laser services for the shop.
The laser is turning out to be a ton of fun and we plan on making a special page on this site for the videos of our laser projects.
We are happy to announce that the laser has arrived at the Six Elements Workshop. Thanks to my 15 minutes of training lifting some garden posts in the driveway, I was able to lift out the 1250 lbs crate and safely back it down a hill, around a corner and spin around to softly place it in the garage.
Here it will sit, doing awesome things for the workshop for many months to come.
I made a little video, sped up of course of the time it took to get the laser uncrated and on the floor of the garage, you would be surprised at the effort it may take to get more than a half ton machine 2 inches to the ground without shocking sensitive electronic equipment.
Right now, we are trying to get the website finished up and ready to deploy out to the world; there will be a lot of work to come, filling in the shop with all of our new items. Please be patient with us as we update the laser services pages and work to make the experience on the website better.
Right now we are a skeleton crew of two people, also working full-time positions out there in the business world, with these new goals becoming real we are getting closer to being able to do the workshop full time.
Enjoy the short video, stay tuned as I will be making more as the laser gets rolling as well as other parts of the workshop.Video
Working on some of the new pages for the upcoming laser services we will be offering at the workshop it dawned on me that we are now less than a week away. The laser will be a game changer in the workshop as well as in the area when it comes to cost effective laser products.
The workshop will be offering services to anyone that has an idea and would like it cut to a .02 tolerance. We will be slowly building up our materials list that we will have on site, but are currently looking at providing more than 100 different types of materials that can be used on our industrial laser.
We hope that everyone gets involved because making unique one of a kind and personal items are something that we at the workshop are looking forward to and hope that you makers out there take advantage of our new cutting and engraving services. If you’re interested and want to know once all of these things start rolling out visit our website and sign-up for our notifications and newsletters.
The workshop is hard at work these days getting some more expansion in order. We are hoping that many of the future products that we have to offer are interesting and useful to people and that our hard work is sought after.
Currently, we are in the process of doing work on many new fronts. The first being our work in creating some exciting new soaps, shaving cremes, balms, bath bombs, and other bath products. Secondly, we are only days away from receiving our industrial laser cutter that will frankly be a game changer when it comes to the reach and quality of our products.
Many, many more things are coming down the pipeline. If you are a person that looks for items that have a realistic world use, as well as being genuinely beautiful, watch this website!