What is air assist?
During laser engraving and laser cutting, the supply of compressed air can significantly influence and improve the results. Furthermore, Air Assist protects the lens against damage as it prevents dust from adhering to it.
Fan mounted Air Assist vs Compressed Air Assist?
Some laser cutters use a small fan mounted close to the laser cutter head to move air in the same direction of the laser firing direction. The air moved downward is unfocused and does not do more than blow the smoke produced away from the cutting area. Since it’s moving dirty air around, it can also get quite filthy and mess up the cutter lens and mirrors. Also, the lifespan of small fans is much shorter than those that are fitted with a dedicated compressed air pump which can run 24/7 for years.
Compressed air assist is the use of compressed and focussed air in-line and in the same direction of the firing laser, which essentially is true air assist. The effect would be similar to how an hydro-oxy flame works. It increases the cutting performance and significantly improves the results.
Safety is another aspect to having compressed air assist. As you can see from the Non Air Assisted laser cutting video, an open flame is generated during the laser cutting process, and if sustained, could cause an uncontrolled fire in the laser cutter.
On the other hand, having compressed air focused and blowing in line with the laser will ensure that the cutting flame is intense, controlled and blown straight down into the cutting tray, minimising the chance of secondary burns from happening.
Is this available in the CraftLaser?
The CraftLaser has a high capacity air compressor which comes standard and is running full time to ensure that the air is constantly blown in-line and in the same direction of the firing laser, thus keeping the lens clean whilst giving optimal and increased laser cutting performance. Coupled with the 2 high capacity exhaust fans moving 360cfm of air out of the cutting area, it will ensure that the work piece is clean and that there is minimal burn off effect to give you cuts that are clean and consistent.
Also, you may be interested to know that the CraftLaser is built to NFPA115 standard for fire safety. Find out more here.