Air Assist - What does it do? What is it used for? When to turn on and when to turn off? please explain. Thanks, MLK
I believe the 2 main uses are to keep smoke and debris away from the lens and to clear the kerf when cutting. I personally have a compressor hooked up to mine with a 1/4" air line. I put 30 psi to the line. I have a solenoid set up with a bypass. With air assist off I get just a very minimal amount of flow into the nozzle to keep smoke away from the lens when engraving. With it on, the full pressure flows for cutting.
Generally when engraving on wood or card stock you want minimal airflow to keep debris and smoke from blowing back down on to your engraving. With something like marble engraving, I go ahead and run the air assist to clear the fine powder that’s created.
In my opinion the aquarium style pumps are a bad compromise. They put out too much air to use when engraving and not enough air to be effective when cutting.
Air assist also keeps some materials from flaming up and burning when cutting.
I use same set up.
Slight air while engraving to keep lens from getting debris and smoke on it, otherwise you don’t even need air for most engraving.
You can definitely cut thicker material using shop air instead of an aquarium pump.
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