Laser solutions focused on laser cutting and engraving are extremely versatile. Not only can you use laser cutting tools to cut precise patterns in a variety of materials, you can also use a laser cutter to engrave items. Here’s a basic run-down on how laser cutting works.

Laser solutions typically include a laser cutting machine and computer aided design software. The laser machine includes all of the mechanical and laser components required to cut or engrave an item while the software acts as an interface. Many laser solutions include LCD touchscreens for the user to input the desired parameters. Once the CAD software has been set up, it’s time for the laser cutting to begin. The machine receives instructions from the software and performs its task.

laser cuttingFor example, have you ever had used a do-it-yourself pet tag engraving machine at your local pet store? These laser cutting machines are complete pet tag engraving kiosks. You first purchase a blank pet tag from the cashier. This pet tag is specifically made to work with the laser cutting machine. The touchscreen then prompts you to place the pet tag into a movable tray. Once positioned, it pulls the tag into position under the laser. From there, you’re prompted to enter the desired information such as your dog’s name for the front of the tag and your name and phone number for the back. Once you’re satisfied with the text, you’re then prompted to press the ‘start’ button. The laser cutter then engraves each side of the tag as instructed before dispensing the finished product.

Though this is a highly specific application designed for consumer use, many laser solutions are much more flexible. For example, in an industrial setting, a laser cutter may be used to cut sheet metal parts one day and acrylic trophies the next. While the materials and patterns may be different, the CAD software and human interface device make starting a new laser cutting project a familiar matter.

How will you use laser solutions at your facility? The possibilities are nearly limitless!

Mark Williams is the author of this article about laser cutting basics. He is an engineer who loves science and an expert in laser technology. When choosing a laser application manufacturer, it’s important to do research and learn about it. Visit Coherent website at www.coherent.com, for more information about laser.