The process sure sounds cool, but you might have caught yourself wondering: What is a laser

The process sure sounds cool, but you might have caught yourself wondering: What is a laser cutter? Dig into this lengthy guide where break down laser cutting. As the name suggests, laser cutters create patterns and designs by cutting into materials. A powerful laser beam is the source that melts, burns, or vaporizes the material. Essentially, laser cutting is a fabrication process that uses a thin, focused, laser beam to cut and etch materials into custom designs, patterns, and shapes as specified by a designer. This non-contact, thermal-based fabrication process is ideal for several materials, including wood, glass, paper, metal, plastic, and gemstone. It’s also capable of producing intricate parts without needing a custom-designed tool. The invention of the laser cutter is attributed to Kumar Patel, who began his research in laser action when he joined Bell Labs in 1961. In 1963, he developed the first C02 laser, which is the variant with more modern applications than any other type of laser. C02 lasers are for engraving materials ranging from acrylic and plywood to cardboard and MDF. Today, laser cutting has found a home in industries such as electronics, medicine, aerospace...

How to select the right setup for your fiber laser cutting needs

Choosing the right solutions for your fiber laser cutting setup enables high throughput and cost savings. As fiber laser technology has rapidly advanced over the last several years, it can be hard to distinguish what is important when considering a high-power fiber laser. There are more things to consider than the highest kilowatt rating or the fastest advertised feed rates. Putting an entire package together for your success involves many areas of evaluation. Some of these for consideration may include kilowatt ratings and feed rates, but should also address assist gas cutting solutions, cost per part, automation, and expansion for future growth. For many years, the industry standard was based upon the most-common laser wattage sold throughout the late 1990s and 2000s—that being in the range of a 4 kW carbon dioxide (CO2) laser. Yes, there were some higher machine ratings available, but the most common were in this range. The progression of CO2 technology spanned almost 30 years and leveled off for many of those years, and wattages never increased much above the 6 kW range. This is in large contrast to what we have seen with the evolution of fiber laser technology. While fiber ...