A laser cutter is typically associated with manufacturing and industrial uses. Large machines are used to cut wood, metal, glass, plastics, and industrial polymers. They are precise, fast, and expensive. A desktop laser cutter is still an investment, but is much smaller, affordable, and can be used by hobbyists, artists, craftsmen, and small business owners.
Cutting and engraving materials takes a fraction of the time needed to create the same images by hand. Making models, carving wood, etching patterns on acrylics and plastic, and cutting out custom designs on paper for signs, invitations, and stationery are a few things that can be accomplished quickly and professionally. The size of desktop models is conducive to home use, workshop or garage spaces, and limited spaces available in many small businesses.
There are a few things to consider when comparing desktop laser machinery. One aspect is the amount of power needed. A forty watt laser is powerful enough for most casual users. Hobbyists and artists will do well with this model. Small business owners may wish to opt for a fifty- or sixty-watt machine. The pricing will be a higher, but more speed and power can help suit current and future needs. Boosting the business and attracting new customers by offering new services for cutting and engraving may lead to an increase in demand. The higher-wattage machine is a wise investment because the business can meet the increased need without spending more capital on a more powerful model.
The engraving area size is also an important consideration. An open table, such as the one found on the Boss Laser Ls-1416 model, provides more freedom of space to complete projects of different sizes. A table with exact dimensions will limit the possibilities. If all the cutting will be done on the same size, the closed table will suit the needs. Check to see what software is included in the price of the machine. Some companies install software but do not include an interface program. Select a model that has both the software and an interface program included to save time and money. Compare warranties and any added services. A company may offer free lifetime technical support, for example, while another may offer support for one or two years after the sale.