Laser cutters have seen an uptick in popularity and use in recent years. What this means is that many people who have never used these tools before are now learning about all the benefit they offer. This includes benefits like speed, accuracy, and ease of use. Unfortunately, this also means many new users are not aware of the safety issues related to these unique cutting machines.
Keep in mind that finding a quality laser cutter by looking at 2020 boss laser reviews here is a smart first step, but don’t stop there. Be sure to read the safety tips below to know how to avoid injuries while using these powerful machines.
Never Leave the Laser Unattended While in Use
A common mistake for most new operators is not supervising the machine while something is being cut. While laser cutters work fast, a larger project can still take several hours to complete. Many new operators may leave the machine unattended while the job is being done. This is considered a serious fire and safety risk.
While higher-quality machines are designed with metal cases (always avoid plastic), the sustained heat of the laser as it hits the bottom of the case can cause serious damage to the exterior, damage electronic components, and may even start a fire. Usually, this happens if the power settings are too high and if the laser cuts through the material, then focusing on the case beneath what is being cut.
The best way to avoid melting or fire issues is by staying on-site while the laser is working. If someone needs a break from monitoring the laser, they should have someone else take their place. It is also necessary to have a properly working fire extinguisher nearby during operation.
Avoid Cutting Materials with Unknown Properties
Most people relate laser cutters with wood projects. However, there are other machines that can also be used for cutting metal. Some people have found that when they purchase the laser machine, they can mark or cut several materials, including acrylic, glass, stone, tile, cardboard, paper, fabric, and more. Each time these materials are cut, fumes are released that are swept away by the built-in exhaust fan.
While this system is fine for most fumes, such as fabric, wood, etc., they are not designed to remove potentially deadly fumes from the area, such as those produced when PVC plastic is cut. Many plastic fumes, including PVC, may be lethal if those fumes are inhaled even in smaller doses. As a result, they should never be cut using a laser. When someone buys a material to use with their laser cutter, users should check with the supplier to see if there are any toxic safety warnings. If they are unsure about the material, avoid cutting it using a laser.
Anytime a laser is being used, the operator should have a safety first mentality. This is going to help prevent issues and injuries for everyone, including themselves and others who are in the vicinity.