The laser cutting industry is set to grow at just over 9% in the coming years. This aggressive growth is thanks to its widespread use.
Laser cutting can be found in a variety of industries, including automotive, electronics, aerospace, medical, and industrial. These industries may use laser cutting differently, but the basic functioning of the machines remains the same.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about laser cutters.
What Is a Laser Cutter?
A laser cutter uses a laser to cut a predetermined design into the material inserted into the cutting machine. A designer will use software to create the needed design. Then the design gets sent to a computer that controls the laser.
What Can They Cut?
You can use a laser cutter to cut through wood, plastic, paper, cardboard, stone, and metal. Custom Metal Fabrication is a common use for everything from small consumer goods manufacturing to large construction fabrication.
How Do They Work?
Cutting lasers can churn out a high volume of parts due to their efficiency. They can create intricate designs with a high level of accuracy. This allows designers and fabricators to quickly and affordably produce products on a large scale.
While there are several different types of laser cutters, they all essentially work the same. A laser beam reflects through a series of mirrors and gets focused down to an intense beam.
This beam then points down towards the material you intend to cut. This cutting system is mounted on a mechanical arm that lets the laser move in any direction to cut in any design you create.
Different Types of Laser Cutters
The different types of lasers are categorized by their power. The strongest lasers mainly serve the industrial industries to cut things like metal. Lower powered lasers get used to cut thinner and flammable material.
There are three main types of laser cutters, CO2, neodymium, and fiber.
This is the most popular type of laser because they’re affordable to run, efficient, and low power. These lasers use a mixture of carbon dioxide and other electrically stimulated gas.
You can use it to cut wood, leather, acrylics, glass, paper products, and some foams.
Doped crystals are used to form this laser. They have a significantly higher intensity than CO2 lasers.
The smaller wavelength enables them to cut through stronger materials. They also work well to cut through thick materials.
This high intensity puts a lot of stress on the machine. This means the cutting mechanism and laser components require more maintenance.
You can use these lasers to cut plastic, metal, and some ceramics.
These lasers use special glass fibers and a seed laser to create its intensity. They are about as powerful as a neodymium laser but require less maintenance.
You can use these lasers to cut plastics and metal.
How Can You Use Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting is an application that can be used in everything from creating intricate parts to large scale construction components. Successfully using lasers to streamline your production is all about choosing the right laser for the task.
Choose the laser that’ll best cut the materials you need cut.
Check out the building section of our blog to see metal fabrication and laser cutting used in construction.