laser cutting machine

Everything You Need to Know About a Laser Cutting Machine

Laser technology has been with us since the early 1960s. This technology has been unprecedented in harnessing energy to perform various tasks. The main area where this innovation shows its presence is through laser cutting.

Laser cutting is the fabrication process of creating designs and patterns by cutting into various materials. The process uses a powerful laser beam that melts down, burns, and evaporates the cut materials to form accurate designs.

Considering its high precision performance, laser cutting technology is widely preferred in most production sectors. The machine functions at the speed of light, getting the job done accurately. In this article, we are discussing essential things about a laser cutting machine.

The basics of a laser cutting machine

Understanding a laser cutting machine helps to appreciate its functions. It is a tool that employs laser technology to create designs and patterns by removing sections of the material. The machine works by melting, burning, or vaporizing the material leaving the most accurate patterns or designs on the surface.

The laser cutting process entails using a thin, virtually invisible laser beam to cut and engrave the material. This procedure either cuts through a given surface or creates logos, designs, and writes text/numbers. The technology works on various surfaces and materials, including wood, metal, glass, paper, ceramics, and stones.

Application of laser cutting

The man is working with laser cutter machine and takes out the finished product

As mentioned, laser cutting is an innovative technology that has seen many industries thrive. The industries where laser cutting is widely applied include; electronics, aerospace, medicine, semiconductors, and automotive. In these industries, the most common application is cutting through different types of metal to deliver clean and smooth cuts.

Surprisingly, the surgical field also benefits from laser cutting technology. Today, a laser cutting machine takes the place of the scalpel and is used to vaporize the tissues in the body. The technology is essential in high-precision medical procedures such as eye surgery.

How a laser cutter works

A laser cutting machine, as mentioned, uses a beam to cut through a substrate material. The beam diameter of a laser cutter ranges between 0.1 and 0.3 mm using power ranging from 1 kW to 3kW. The type of material being cut and the thickness determine the power which is adjusted to suit the application.

For instance, cutting through reflective surfaces requires laser powers of up to 6 kilowatts. As such, cutting through these materials (such as aluminum and copper alloys) is not advised. It is because these materials are excellent heat-conductors and contain light-reflective properties, hence requiring powerful lasers.

What makes a laser cutting machine?

Laser resonator

A laser resonator is the heart of a laser cutting machine consisting of a glass tube and two mirrors on either side. The tube contains different gases such as CO2, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium.  Diodes or an electric discharge activate the gas mixture by emitting light energy.

Cutting head

When the resonator produces the laser beam, it disperses in different directions since it bounces after hitting the mirrors. The mirrors ensure the beam gets to the laser cutting head. Upon hitting the head, the beam goes through an arched lens where it is expanded and absorbed onto a particular point. The laser is converted into a thin and concentrated beam used to cut. Usually, the cutting head is connected to a motorized system driven by a chain/belt, allowing it to make accurate movements in a given spot.

If you are looking for high-precision cutting, using a laser cutting machine is your best bet. It functions at high speed and allows plenty of application. Additionally, the machine performs without touching a surface, hence there are no contamination risks.