If you need to laser cut out some metal, you need to make sure that you set up the material and the area for laser cutting. Before you start, there are three things that you should do to prepare.
#1 Use Masking To Prevent Smoke Damage
If you are planning on laser cutting metal, you need to make sure that you account for the smoke when you cut the item with laser if you don't want to further treat the surface of the metal after you laser cut it. Cutting with a laser is hot business, and can create a lot of smoke. That smoke can stain the edge of the metal that you are cutting, which is okay if you plan on further treating the metal, but can really be a drawback if you want the metal to stand on its own.
To prevent the edges of the metal from getting stained by the smoke, put masking tape around the edge of the area that you plan to cut with the laser. That way, when you cut the material with the laser, the smoke will get on the masking tape instead of on your metal piece. The laser will be able to cut through the masking tape and will protect the edges of your project from smoke stains. You should be able to easily remove the tape and have nice looking metal underneath that is not stained at all.
#2 Check The Presets & Save Ones For Each Project
Make sure to check the suggested setting on your laser. These settings tell you how to set up your laser based on the type of material you are using and the thickness of the material. Make sure that you have the right setting information for the type of material you need to use. Then, program the setting information into your laser program. Be sure to give the settings a name you will remember. When you have the right settings for each project programed into your laser, you will be able to set up and complete jobs more efficiently.
#3 Always Do A Test Cut
Finally, make sure that you always do a test cut before you get started on a big job. Take a piece of material and run a test cut on it. Make sure the laser cuts through the material correctly. You want to make sure that the laser creates the type of cut and look that you are looking for. It is best to do a test run on a single piece of material before you really get the project going to make sure that everything is set up correctly. If you don't get the results you want, reset the presets on your laser cutting equipment before getting your project together.