Doing a little thinking through writing. I have ordered a LASER engraving machine. Everyone should know what LASER engraving is. Unless you been under a rock under the sea for the last 25 years or so. I should not need to explain the concept in too much detail.
It is a CNC controlled machine that uses a LASER (light) beam to literally burn away the surface of material upon which it has been focused. Following a computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) two-dimensional path, it engraves or cuts through the material. There are limitations on what materials are suitable.
This is NOT a kid’s toy. It is NOT a toy at all. Little Jonny does not need a LASER powerful enough to burn. Even a very low power LASER pointer does not belong in a toy category. A LASER engraver/cutter is literally playing with fire. It is a serious TOOL
That said, I have a LASER machine on the way and intend to play with it in a serious and responsible way. That is a privilege earned from surviving to this phase of my life. I have become responsible for my actions and know how to properly use the powerful tools in my workshop.
The “What Next” is discovering how I will apply this tool with future projects.
An engraver makes lines and marks on the surface of material. It’s a tool for decoration. What I will be doing is adding detail to otherwise plane looking surfaces. It’s a graphic tool rather than a construction tool.
The LASER machine will also CUT THROUGH thin material. That process is a part of construction. Cutting shapes away as with cutting with a knife or shears. Super powerful LASER and Plasma cutters do most of the metal cutting in industrial workshops.
My tool will do the same cutting in thin (several millimeter) combustible organic materials such as wood, cork, some plastics.
I have no definite applications in mind. The plain fact is I bought the machine because the price made it attractive. The plan is to see what I can do at the five-watt (output) power level. With a $200 entry fee I decided I didn’t need a fully qualified plan-of-use.
If I find serious use/application for a more powerful machine, this first investment gets me playing and learning the software and the skills. It is an educational investment.