Laser cutting has become a major industry in manufacturing. Metal signs are one sector where it remains especially popular. There are several different types of sign makers available. Some create large signs while others specialize in small versions such as lettering and numbers. The following article outlines seven tips for laser cutting metal signs.
Select the Right Material
When selecting the right material, look for a variety of metals that will work well with your design. You can find all kinds of colors, thicknesses, designs, and patterns, so you should consider the type of signage you want to make before choosing materials. If you have trouble finding what you need locally, then try contacting or visiting a local supplier.
Pre-heat the Cutting Tools
For smooth cuts, pre-heat the tools you use to cut the metal. This is particularly important when using carbide tipped tools. They require a certain amount of heat to get started. A torch and some extra fuel can be used to quickly raise the temperature of the metal.
While it may take longer to cut and cool down after the initial heating process, the results will be smoother and faster cuts. If this isn’t possible, then an abrasive disc should be removed from the tool prior to cutting.
Use the Correct Power Setting
The power setting on your laser cutter will determine how much control you have over the work. When cutting metal, the lower the settings, the deeper the cut. Generally, the deeper the cut, the larger the opening required in the sign. However, if you go too low, the cuts won’t be smooth and you’ll have to adjust the settings to maintain a consistent depth.
On the other hand, if you use high settings, the cuts might be too shallow and will result in scrap. For optimum results, choose settings between 1 and 5 depending on the complexity of the design.
Cut with a Straight Edge
If possible, use a straight edge to cut metal signs since it ensures straight lines. Otherwise, use a template to ensure a perfectly straight line. This works best when you’re laying out the sign because you can then correct any mistakes before cutting.
When you cut with a straight edge, it prevents the possibility of ripping the edges of the metal as you cut through them. This makes the job easier.
Choose the Right Laser Blade
Consider the size and shape of blade you plan to use. Blades come in various shapes and sizes. It pays to select one that is appropriate to the application you’re working on.
There are also specialty blades designed for specific applications . These can help you save time by increasing accuracy and reducing fatigue.
Check out our personalized metal signs collection here: https://lifeandstylecorner.com/collections/metal-signs
Use a Tack Hammer or Bending Bar
Sometimes, metal signs must be bent or shaped to fit a particular need. This might include making a curved base or inserting clips into a piece of material. To do this, you’ll need a tack hammer in addition to your laser cutter.
Using a tack hammer allows you to bend the metal without damaging it. It’s especially useful when you want to bend a section of metal to form something like a circle.
Check Your Work Often
It’s easy to lose track of the progress you’ve made when designing and cutting a metal sign. One way to keep tabs on a project is by using light boxes. Light boxes contain lighting that illuminates the image you’re creating. This helps you see what you’re doing and gives you a better idea of how the pieces will fit together.
In general, a light box is great for checking images as they’re being scanned in. However, it can also be used during the cutting process. Once you start cutting, set up the light box to examine the progress as you go along. This way, you can make adjustments if necessary.
For more information regarding using metal signs, check out our home decoration blog often.