asked this on April 6, 2011, 17:23
I've been reading the blog post "How much material does the laser burn away?" but soon noticed this new addition:
Please note that these are old figures, which we are hoping to update soon - we cannot guarantee super-precise kerf widths at this time.
Has there been any progress on this? Do you have a general idea of it, for example has the kerf increased or decreased?
That new addition was made after a specific case of some cut-out circles in acrylic which were not consistently larger than the drawn diameter as would be expected with those noted kerf sizes. It appeared that the kerf had *decreased* in that type of a cut.
We then acknowledged that it has been some time since those kerf sizes were outlined, and it's time they were updated. We'll be doing so as soon as we can - but at present any moment our cutters are not making orders they're cutting and engraving samples which are about to start getting shipped out.
We'll get some revised kerf measurements taken and posted as soon as we can.
In saying all that - the instance above is the first time we've heard about kerf widths being different to what is specified in that post - we've been working off those numbers ourselves up until this point.
Those figures should still assist in making the first make as good as possible - but as always nothing can beat a physical prototype to see exactly what you're going to get.
I'd like to know the +/- tolerance for 0.1 mm Mylar, and it's Kerf size.
Mylar seems to be the thinnest material Ponoko offers atm; i'm not sure if it would have nice thin kerfs because thin materials receive a perfectly focused laser beam, or wide kerfs because thin material may be more prone to melting.
Our NZ laser team have run some tests on the Mylar and found that the kerf ranges between .18mm and .30mm depending how flat/how much it warps during cutting.
Hope that helps!
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