Metal has a vast array of post processing techniques available to take your metal laser job further. This section aims to provide some pathways to spark ideas or proceed with your project.
In comparison to other materials, metal requires more post-processing after it has been cut. It is important to allow time to clean up your parts if you want to achieve the best results.
- Some metals (especially mild steel) will oxidise and rust after cutting, or when they come into contact with the oils on your skin. We advise sealing the metal as soon as possible after the job has been processed.
- Metal cutting often leaves behind “dross” - melted material on the underside of the piece. These can leave sharp or undesirable edges that may need to be filed down
- In order to cut through metal, the laser cuts at a very high temperature and can often leave heat marks. You may want to remove these before a piece can be presented.
In regards to dealing with rust, dross and heat marks, all three of these things can be cleaned up by using a linisher, orbital sander or angle grinder.
- Angle grinder - used for cutting, shaping and cleaning
- Linisher - A pedestal 'sander', the linisher is used for preparing metal surfaces for welding or cleaning.
- Orbital Sander - used for cleaning and polishing
Cleaning up metal parts on the Linisher
For folding sheet metal, we have the Magnabend 650E (a magnetically charged metal bending tool) available for students to use in the workshop.
Maker Spaces Workshop has a welding bay which includes MIG, TIG and stick welding services. This is offered as a service to students, where Fab Lab and Workshop staff can weld your job for you. Feel free to bring your welding job in and have a chat about it with Fab Lab staff.
Makerspaces Workshop Welding Bay
Guide on best practice for spray painting metals - Spray booth available for student use.