Laser Cutter Basics: Kerf Compensation
See the presentation here:
Part 1: Complete the MyCourses orientation
Part 2: Create some test files and try it out
Either wait for next week's class or book it yourself when you have time. I recommend doing this in pairs.
- Design a piece (I recommend a square for easy measurement) with known dimensions. Keep it fairly small (30-50mm).
- Cut it with the laser cutter.
- Measure the piece you cut, both sides (width and height).
- Compare this to the measurement that you had in your file and calculate the difference between them.
- The difference is the kerf of this machine (with this material).
- Remember that the laser burns away from both sides of the line, when you actually design your files, you should compensate for half of this value you measured for each line you cut.
- NOTE: You don't have to get this cut before next week, but if you can, that's great. At least prepare the files.
Part 3: Find the perfect value for kerf compensation
If you use the actual measured value, it's probably going to be too tight (depending on the material used). Try out some values close to the one you measured to find a value that creates a perfect fit.
Design the test pieces I show in this video. Ideally already before the class. You don't need to have them cut before next week, but if you can if you have the time to book the laser.