How Laser Cutting Works

How Laser Cutting Works

Laser cutting is a great technique to create customized homemade items for your family and friends. Laser cutting is used for many different items from industrial use to homemade gifts. Able to cut through multiple types of material such as steel, metal, wood, plastic, and more these cutters are used in multiple industries.

Laser cutting is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is one of the most widely used techniques in manufacturing today. From automotive, to medical, to electronic and aerospace laser cutting yields excellent and sharp cuts with high quality materials. Are you interested in wondering how light can cut through heavy metal materials? Let me explain!

How It Really Works

Just as it sounds, laser cutting is the process of cutting materials using a laser beam. The laser beam has a very high intensity light enabling it to cut through thick metals. Throughout this process the laser beam heats the surface to where the material melts and separates. The laser cuts through the material by creating or piercing a hole at the edge and then continuing the beam from there. As the material separates the laser beam actually penetrates the material being cut which begins the true laser cutting process. The material melts away from the heat of the laser. While the material separates the machine follows the geometric design it was given to cut.

This process follows a similar pattern to engraving by creating cuts and dents in materials. Laser cutting is a beneficial and easy way to cut materials with no post process depending on the material being used. With a clean and crisp cut the laser seals the edges and creates a polished finish all in one step.

 A large range of materials can be used in laser cutting. With laser cutting there is a very fine and detailed finish to the project. Geometric designs of almost any shape and size can be cut with the finest of detail. Compared to other cutting methods laser cutting is the most precise due to the level of control the machine has with the ability to cut to 0.1mm.

Each industry sector uses different types of laser cutting to reach the level of precision they need. Below I have listed three of the most common types of laser cutting to give you a better understanding!

Types of Laser Cutting:

1.  Gas Laser Cutting

Also known as CO2 laser cutting it is used with a carbon dioxide mixed laser. While this was originally not a strong enough laser cutter for metals in 1964 it has now evolved. The oldest laser cutting method gas laser cutting is usually used on softer materials. This is often what is used in medical and industrial settings. Gas laser cutting mixed with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide is very beneficial when using metals such as steel and aluminum. However, be careful and be sure you are using pure nitrogen!

2.  Fiber Laser Cutting

As the name suggests, this is using a fiber laser to cut materials of a solid group. The beam for a fiber laser is nearly 100 times greater than the beam used for gas laser cutting. This is the most useful of the three types of laser cutting due to the fact that it can work well with metal and non-metal materials.

3.  Crystal Laser Cutting

Crystal laser cutting is also useful for non-metal and metal materials. This type of cutting uses nd:YAG and nd:YVO lasers. These lasers are rather expensive due to the types of materials that are required to build them. This type of laser cutting also has a shorter lifespan than that of fiber laser cutting. Crystal laser cutting was made in the same laboratory as the gas lasers during the same time period but has been proven to work on much harder materials.

I hope my break down of what exactly laser cutting does, and the different types of lasers helps you understand how I create the items I sell. From jewelry, to dog tags, to household items like cutting boards I enjoy creating different designs for you. If you have a specific design in mind reach out to me through Crafted by Kaydee and I will do my best to fulfill your request!

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