All Laser Cutters need two additional gadgets which move air flow: blower which removes surroundings / extracts smoke from machine and air flow compressor as a source for compressed surroundings for so called air assist.

Why and How
Laser cuts by temperature, very high temperature focused in tight beam. Side items of high temperature are smoke and fire, both are not welcomed addition, smoke disperses laser reducint it’s efficienty and fire causes charring of material / edges and may even escape control causing serious emergency.

Fire needs surroundings to burn but it will also die if you blow too hard, think about a candle in the wind. That is essentialy what air assist is for: compressed surroundings is extruded directly at the laser head in a very limited stream and is directed at where laser touches material.

Pressure and level of air
Pressure of air flow is essential variable for air aid efficienty, in our shop we discovered that optimal value is between 2 and 3.5 bar (31-50psi).

To achieve required pressure compressor needs to push certain volume of air through atmosphere assist opening, precise volume depends upon size of the starting and desired pressure. High quality laser cutter heads have small and finely tuned openings while cheaper chinese cutters simply blow generally direction via huge holes.

Proper compressor
When choosing compressor you should consider if it will be able to constantly provide desired pressure and volume of air. Small airbrush compressors little compressors boast impressive pressure figures but really poor flow rates enough only for airbrush pistols. Even if small compressor can push enough air it’ll likely overheat in short while.