For over a month now I’ve been working on a new device: Vacuum Table for Laser Cutters and Engravers.
Main purpose of vacuum table is to hold FLAT some thing stock during engraving and cutting. It works well with things like cardstock, leather, thing plywood and acrylic. When laser cutting/engraving such object, it has to stay flat. For this various clamping methods are used, but they are usually very clunky and get in a way of laser beam limiting amount of working material. Vacuum table holds object from underneath, letting you work with all of the surface.
You might be familiar with vacuum tables used for CNC milling, but those mostly use some kind of external vacuum source. I’ve seen some DIY vacuum tables for lasers that also use regular vacuum cleaner, but these are less than ideal. During cutting or engraving laser burns portion of material creating very smelly and nauseating and sometimes toxic fumes. Lasers usually have exhaust and filtration systems to dispose of those. So main idea behind our vacuum table is being self contained. Vacuum is generated by several small by extremely powerful motors built into the unit and powered by DC power supply. Fumes stay inside laser machine, utilizing existing fume extraction path.
Our vacuum table is made mostly with aluminum parts, especially in places where laser beam comes in contact with device. Most CO2 lasers do not burn metal (except for some specific high power machines) so nothing get’s damaged.
Our current pre-production prototype can create over 2.2 lbs of holding force which is sufficient to flatten 1/8″ plywood if it was warped.
Work is still happening as we are finalizing the design. Please keep checking our website and Facebook page for more updates! We’ll announce when vacuum table will be available at our store.