So your new hobby laser cutter is about to arrive at your home. Are you excited? Of course, you are, but are you ready? With just a little forethought, your transformation of a living space in your home into a mini manufacturing workshop can be smooth and easy. Here are 5 tips to make sure your home is prepped for the arrival of your hobby laser.
1. Select a Location
You probably already have a room or location in mind, however, there are some qualities you want to make sure the location has. First, you will need a large, solid table to place the machine on. Typically a hobby machine is less than 100 lbs, but you should check the exact weight to be sure your table can handle it. You also want to be sure the room is large enough to accommodate not only the table and machine, but also enough space to work in. This includes a place for your laptop or computer.
2. Safety Inspection
Once you have selected the space you will set your hobby laser, you will want to consider laser safety protocol. Do you have a properly inspected fire extinguisher? Do you have a first aid kit? Do you have a emergency plan? These are crucial elements for a safe workspace and should be prepared well in advance of your machine’s arrival.
3. Power Requirements
Always check the power requirements of a hobby laser before purchasing to ensure your home can accommodate. Remember that besides the laser cutter itself, you will need additional power outlets (and space) for the exhaust system, the laser tube cooling system, your computer (or laptop) and the air assist system. Always be aware of electrical hazards and safety protocol when accessing your power requirements.
4. Exhaust Requirements
Fumes and particles created from laser cutting different materials will need to be exhausted away from the workspace. This is typically done through a simple ventilation system that exits the fumes out a window or an installed exhaust duct like a common clothes dryer. If your workspace does not have a window or an installed exhaust port, you can purchase a fume extractor. Fume extractors use a filter system and do not require outside ventilation. If you intend on using a fume extractor, you will want to order it with (or prior) to your purchase of the hobby laser so it is ready to go.
5. Machine Arrival
When your hobby laser does arrive, you will want to inspect it for damages during shipping before signing off on receiving it. Also, remember to check how much it weighs. You may need help lifting it to move into your workspace. You will also have to assemble the cooling and exhaust systems so it is a good idea to know what tools you will need. Often you can download the user manual prior to arrival to have an idea what will be required. The manual will also tell you of any other items you will need that may not be included with your laser. This could include distilled water for the cooling system and possibly minor tools.
When your hobby laser arrives, the best way to get laser cutting right away is to be prepared and have your workspace safe and ready for action.