Laser cutting and engraving have revolutionized the manufacturing industry since their inception in 1965 when Western Electric developed a cutting laser using existing technology to shape materials. Over the years, advancements in laser technology have led to the availability of high-powered lasers capable of cutting tougher materials with even greater precision.
Laser Cutter vs. Laser Engraver
One notable distinction between a laser engraver and a laser cutter is the machine lens. An engraving machine has a shorter focal length, resulting in a finer spot size for cutting materials and achieving higher precision. Conversely, the longer focal length of a laser cutting machine allows for more tolerance of height variations and produces less taper in the cut edge. This makes it ideal for cutting thicker materials.
About Laser Cutting
Laser cutting encompasses various types, including CO2-powered and fiber laser cutters. Different materials require varying levels of power to cut through cleanly and efficiently, depending on their thickness and properties. Excessive power can cause the edges to taper.
The advantages of laser cutting over other cutting methods lie in its precision when working with non-ferrous thick materials. Surprisingly, laser cutters consume less energy compared to many other manufacturing processes.
About Laser Engraving
Laser engraving involves cutting shapes or characters into a part. Its finer spot size enables the engraving of thinner designs that may not be achievable with a regular engraver. Notably, advancements in laser engraving technology have even allowed for engraving patterns in different colors. However, color laser engraving on plastics is currently limited due to material properties.
Manufacturing Using Laser Cutting or Engraving
Laser engraving and cutting are highly efficient manufacturing methods, minimizing waste, providing precise and clean cuts, and facilitating quick turnaround times. If you’re considering laser cutting for your project, our partners have access to numerous laser cutting manufacturers worldwide.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to determine whether laser cutting is a suitable fit for your specific needs.