There are three main considerations when selecting an extraction system for a laser:
- Air flow — The larger the laser bed, the more air is required. You need around 1.6 feet-per-second (ft/s) to capture laser fumes. The larger the area you are trying to extract from, the greater volume of air you need to achieve 1.6 ft/s.
- Type of filters — The type of filter is determined by the material you laser. If laser processing acrylic, then lots of methyl methacrylate gas is generated and you need a large gas filter. If lasering PVC, then hydrochloric acid is produced, and you need filters capable of handling acid.
- Filter size — The size of filter required is directly related to the quantity of material the laser is removing. If you are lasering thick material with long and wide cuts for 24 hours a day then you need bigger filters.
—Joshua Evans, BOFA International