FAQs for the curious minds

Lasers amplify light by absorbing and radiating energy. The laser radiation is generated by a laser source. For this, concentrated energy is supplied to a crystal rod (solid state laser) or a special gas mixture (gas laser). The crystal rod or the laser active gas is arranged between two mirrors. This generates a light resonator that directs the laser light into a specific direction and amplifies it in this manner.
A defined percentage of the laser light is emitted through the partially transmissive mirrors and is directed onto the material -- where it engraves, marks or cuts the desired motif.

The laser cutter is one of the most useful tools in a modern shop. Laser cutters work by directing a very powerful laser beam, at a precise focal length, onto a material which they either cut or etch, depending on how the laser cutter has been set up. Laser cutters cut materials similarly to other computer controlled tools, only they do so using a beam of light as opposed to a blade. When laser cutters are set up to etch something on the surface of a material, they operate like a printer, literally using their laser beam to etch an image onto something.

Heat is the random motion of matter particles (atomic or molecular particles) – however, the laser beam itself is not made of matter but of ‘photons’, the so-called ‘light particles’ which have no mass, i.e. that a laser beam can have no temperature.

Laser engraving is a process that vaporizes materials into fumes to engrave permanent, deep marks. The laser beam acts as a chisel, incising marks by removing layers from the surface of the material. The laser hits localized areas with massive levels of energy to generate the high heat required for vaporization.

As we all know, speed and quality are often inversely proportional, higher speed may often come with lower quality. Thus, the overall speed of the cutting machines affects the precision on the final output.

For laser cutting or for very high speed applications, you would need a laser power of more than 80 watts.

Laser cutters will generate fumes, vapors, particulates, and metal fumes from substrates that can be highly toxic (plastics and other combustible materials). All laser cutter systems must be equipped with a fume exhaust system and filtration system that meets manufacturer specifications.