The same is true of engraving. The project can be a custom clock, a cutting board, or a picture frame for the nursery. Hand tools, either manual or electric, requires a steady hand, an artistic touch, and consistent pressure to be successful.
Doing those tasks by hand for a hobby, making gifts, designing jewelry, or a home business makes the process slow and susceptible to human error. The only other option was to take pieces to a local machine shop and have cut or engraved on machines. The cutting was even and uniform, and the engraving was completed in a matter of minutes.
Advances in technology now make is possible for individuals and small business owners to afford compact and desk top laser cutting and engraving machines. Etching is another capacity of these laser models. Before purchasing one, customers need to decide what type of laser tubes they want in the machine. Both provide excellent energy-efficiency and perform well for any application.
If the hobby, craft, or business is in infancy stages, the wise choice is direct current (DC) CO2 tubes. The main reason is the difference in 60w co2 laser tube. DC tubes are inexpensive so they will not drain the capital of a small business, or incur high out-of-pocket costs for individuals. They will need to be replaced more frequently than radio frequency (RF) tubes.
The RF tubes are expensive, but will last four or five times longer than the DC ones. The difference may even out in the long run, so decide which will suit the needs and budget of the endeavor. It is not likely that small machines will get enough use to go through many DC tubes, so save some money and leave the RF ones for large machines operated by huge corporations.
Keep Power Low at Home
Models for person use will never need high wattage tubes. A 100 watt CO2 laser tube generates far too much power, electrical current, and heat to be used in small spaces. Most personal models perform at optimum levels with watts in the two to seven range.
Machines designed to cut thick materials can handle a 150w laser tube because a cooling system is built into larger machines. Manufacturing companies, industrial plants, and other commercial facilities have the space, safety precautions, and ventilation systems to manage the heat, vibration, and grounding needed to safely operate powerful machines.