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These manuals will walk you through the BoXZY experience, from the first un-boxing to using your device for the first time. Please follow each numbered manual in sequence so that you don't miss any crucial information. After you complete 1.3 Using Your BoXZY, you'll be able to move on to the 3D Printing, Laser Engraving, and CNC Milling manuals.

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Cutting with Laser Tool

Can the laser engraver also be used to cut material? I am thinking something like cardboard, vinyl sheet, chocolate. If so, what should be under the material or is the current stage adequate?

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I heard you can cut 1/2" cardboard with BoXZY and up to 1/8" hardwood.

BoXZY’s 2000 mW laser can cut and engrave all woods, hardwoods, acrylic (must be colored or painted a dark color to prevent the laser from reflecting away from the metal), rubber, cardboard, paper, leather, fabrics and many other materials.

BoXZY can cut foil thicknesses of metal if the metal is first coated in a dark color. The laser engraver will engrave photos on hardwood, leather, and plastic with incredible accuracy.

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Hi,

I think your answer is incomplete: if cutting with laser, what should we put under the object to cut to protect BoXZY?

I think a 5 mm steel sheet should enough, but can we put a piece of wood, or anything else? Would the steel reflect the laser (once object is cut) and so generating risks for BoXZY's HW?

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Umm, so is there a tutorial how to use the laser for cutting somewhere?

Anyway, other laser cutters I've seen support the material to be cut with a grid of vertical metal ridges, which means that most of the time the molten acrylic I'm cutting will not immediately stick to the support (which also won't get hit by the laser).

Milling such support ridges is left as an exercise to the reader ;-)

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Hi - I have a laser engraving business and use conventional CO2 lasers up to 100 watts. You will not be able to cut metals even with this amount of power - 1 KW will cut thin stock but aluminum and silver are problematic due to the thermal conductivity. Engraving metal can be done by using Cermark marking compound to enable absorption of the beam - it leaves a jet black marking by re-alloying the material but aluminum is also difficult again due to thermal conductivity.

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John is right, use Cermark, or equivalent on compatible metals for "marking".

It's not etching or engraving. A 2W 445nm laser won't do anything to metal. Metals are too reflective, especially at 445nm (blue) and too thermally conductive. The best you can do is effect a darker oxide layer that is on the surface, like a rust or patina.

Blue laser light (445nm) is poorly absorbed by many of the materials that people have mentioned here - metals, glass, etc. CO2 lasers emit in the deep IR range (10000nm) and is much better absorbed by most material, but also has limitations. And even the smallest CO2 lasers are around 40W, not 2W.

As far as backing. Just use some scrap plywood. If by some chance you manage to dig through an area and it hits the Boxzy platform, the anodized aluminum will get slightly warm. No problem. The beam should be sufficiently defocused at that point. At 2W it would take you a LONG time to get through a piece of 1/2" plywood.

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The current chipboard is IMHO okay for e.g. cutting of paper or cardboard. It is sacrified and if it gets punctured after many cutting runs at the same location the beam will hit the metal base plate and locally heat the anodized aluminium. This might change colour of anodization but wont destroy the plate.

For cutting of chocolate you might consider a sieve underneath to dispose the melted stuff quickly to prevent too much change of taste. There might be the danger of fire too, by burning grease and sugar.

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There is a product called a Silhouette that (I've heard) can cut things like fondant. The software is ridiculously easy to use.

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Hello,

As said in comment, I think your answer is incomplete: if cutting with laser, what should we put under the object to cut to protect BoXZY?

I think a 5 mm steel sheet should enough, but can we put a piece of wood, or anything else? Would the steel reflect the laser (once object is cut) and so generating risks for BoXZY's HW?

Thank you.

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You CANNOT put metal that isn't coated into the bed when using the laser. Even if an object is semi-reflective, it can reflect diffuse laser light and potentially harm both YOU and your machine. If you want to put something under your work piece, put down cardboard or plywood.

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Thank you for you comment.

I would be afraid that cardboard burns into fire.

I think a piece of wood or plywood would be safer to protect BoXZY.

Have some BoXZY users some advice to give on this point?

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Hi again,

If I want to laser engrave on metal, I understand it's not advised, so it's better to mill it with a small tool.

But is it possible to mill a picture, like the laser engraver software does?

Is it really "impossible " (at least, strongly unadvised) to laser engrave a flat piece of metal?

Which precaution can be taken for BoXZY? (obviously goggles for humans...)

I understand the point that laser will be reflected, but it's true with other materials (mirror, glass, ...)

Is there a list of materials that we should not laser engrave, or with which there are precautions to take?

Thank you,

Sly

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Sly,

Material under the focal point heats up at the surface and vaporizes the material. The material may also fracture and flake off the surface. Usually Cutting through the paint of a metal part is how material is laser engraved.

Also you would want to put something under the item to protect BoXZY's carriage. Wood works well, like a sacrificial plate that can be burned.

Remember, laser etching/cutting produces a lot of heat and you want to take proper precautions.

Ken

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Hello, I am a new to the laser engraving and fabrication and we are currently researching the Boxzy product, so take my answer for what it's worth.

I have found that many people in the laser cutting and engraving business seem to use the low adhesion paper tape to provide a masking surface for different reflective metals. We are looking at cutting 1mm silver sheets with the laser and the wide paper tape seems to be the best non-reflective, consumable that is not too expensive for everyday use.

I would like to find out if anyone else has had success cutting thin metal sheets such as sterling silver, aluminum, brass, etc. with the Boxzy laser. Did you just use a CNC G-Code cutting pattern and use the laser head instead?

Thanks and I hope this helps.

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I tried cutting aluminum foil (for the fun of it) and it didn't get through. Is it possible? Perhaps. Maybe if I sprayed one size with black paint, but that kind of defeats the purpose for me. I don't think 2 watts is sufficient to cut metal foils, but I could be wrong.

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Look for all possible sides, and the only thing I want to know is? The boxy is possible to cut metal of .5 mm

Buy boxzy for that purpose, Someone can help me. please

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You won't be able to cut the metal with Boxzy's laser. With the milling head and a good carbide endmill it would have no problem with a number of common metals of that thickness (the team has tried brass, aluminum, titanium, and steel for example), but your kerf (the amount of material removed by cut) will be much larger than with a laser cut. With that said, depending on your application and the endmill size it may be a non issue.

If you need higher detail than the mill can provide, short of new equipment, you might be able to create a mask or stenciling system using the laser to use in acid etching. But beyond knowing it is technically possible, I haven't personally etched through metal so I can't give specific instructions.

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