All Laser Cutters want two additional gadgets which move air: blower which removes air flow / extracts smoke from machine and atmosphere compressor as a source for compressed atmosphere for so called surroundings assist.
Why and How
Laser cuts by heat, very high warmth focused in tight beam. Side products of high heat are smoke and fire, both are not welcomed addition, smoke disperses laser reducint it’s efficienty and fire causes charring of materials / edges and can even get out of control leading to serious emergency.
Fire needs air to burn but it will also die if you blow too hard, think about a candle in the wind. That is essentialy what air assist can be for: compressed surroundings is extruded straight at the laser head in a very tight stream and is directed at the place where laser touches material.
Pressure and volume of air
Pressure of air is key variable for air support efficienty, in our shop we found out that optimal value is between 2 and 3.5 bar (31-50psi).
To attain required pressure compressor must push certain volume of air through air flow assist opening, specific volume depends upon size of the starting and desired pressure. High quality laser cutter heads have small and finely tuned openings while cheaper chinese cutters just blow generally direction via huge holes.
When choosing compressor you should consider if it will be able to constantly provide desired pressure and level of air. Air Compressor For Tire Production Equipment little airbrush compressors little compressors boast impressive pressure figures but actually poor flow rates adequate limited to airbrush pistols. Also if small compressor can push enough air it’ll likely overheat in couple of minutes.