Why you need an air assist when you laser engraving or cutting
The supply of compressed air can significantly influence and improve the results when you laser engraving or cutting.
Air assist is the act of blowing high-pressure air onto laser beam focal point of your work surface.
Furthermore, air assist protects the laser optics against smoke dust damage as it prevents dust from adhering to it.
Advantages of having air assist
There are many advantages of using air assist. Mainly you can achieve the best cut or engraving quality. Also you can prevent back fire and it's improve significantly safety concern.
- Less frequency of cleaning laser optics
- Laser optics are protected by the enclosed air assist body
- Air assist enclosure can shield the laser beam which prevent accidental touches and the laser reflections. Having air assist on your laser will increased safety on your workshop.
- Air assist helps to cool down work surface evenly and prevent or reduce back fire. This uncontrolled back fire can permanently destroy your laser machine and your workshop.
- Improved cutting or engraving quality. You can prevent excessive surface burn and side burn of your work piece.
- By using air assist laser beam will not be interrupted with cutting debris and smoke. So you can improve efficiency of your laser. As a result, you can laser cut your projects with minimum pass counts.
- You can improve lifespan of your laser optics
Disadvantages of having air assist
The only disadvantage of having air assist is, you will need to purchase additional products to your system. These product including air compressor, air assist nozzle and air tubing. Also air compressor can be loud, cumbersome and expensive. However you can purchase silent air compressors to solve the noice issue.
What types of air assist recommended
Air pressure straight down direct mounted nozzle air assist (We recommend)
This is the most efficient air assist. You will get remove cutting debris and smoke more efficiently by using this type of air assist. You will get proper enclosure to your laser optics and prevent smoke damages. You will need to less frequently clean your laser optics by using this type of air assist modules. Your working piece will be efficiently cool down and you can experience even cutting and engraving results by using this type of air assist. Also your laser beam covered with the nozzle enclosure and reduce reflections of the laser light.
Air pressure angled side mounted air assist (We do not recommend)
Your laser optics always get dirt with cutting debris and smoke by using this type of air assist. Due to smoke build up, your laser beam will be interrupted and less efficient overtime. No protection over laser beam and it's expose. You won't get any protection over this type of air assist designs.
What types of air compressors recommended
We do recommend large aquarium air pumps for small scale laser cutting machines. Ideally diode laser engravers this is the most suitable one. These type of air compressors comes with various air output capacity. We recommend at least 60 Litters per minute output capacity aquarium pump. These type of air pumps comes with silent version as well. These silent versions are much expensive compared to normal pumps. You won't get much air pressure by using these type of pumps. Also air pressure will be constant most type of aquarium pumps. Currently we are using "Hailea Model V60" silent aquarium pump as an air assist pump.
Where to buy "Hailea Model V60" silent aquarium pump
Hailea Model V60 or similar models can be purchase in eBay or Amazon.
You can always use your shop air compressor. However there will be lot more noice by using these type of large air compressors. You can change different air pressure to air nozzle to get best results using shop air compressor. Ideal air pressure will be around 20 - 40 PSI if you using shop compressors.
Our air assist products
We have developed various type of add on air assist systems for different types of Laser engraving machines.
You might worrying by adding air assist upgrade may cost you a lot money and more time to set up. The benefits of improving your laser cutting/engraving efficiency and protection it offers make it absolutely essential upgrade. If you know anyone with a laser cutter without air assist, be sure to share with this article with them. Feel free to let us know which type of air assist you prefer to use. If you need any custom design feel free to contact us via our contact us form here.