You know how in Star Wars, the Death Star shoots like a beam to destroy stuff, or how Superman can melt things with his heat vision? That’s basically how our laser cutters work! At least that’s how it operates in the abstract anyways. The realities are a bit...less dramatic, but it’s equally as spectacular! Let’s go through basics of how a laser cutter functions! To start, here are the essential components:
These parts can be further subdivided into two groups: the mechanical and laser systems
The laser system is responsible for cutting the material. The tube makes a heated beam much like a flashlight. The beam is bounced around the mirrors to reach the head assembly. The assembly then passes the light through a focus lense to cut the material.
The mechanical systems are responsible for moving the laser system around. There are two motors which drive the lasers in the horizontal and vertical directions over the span of the work area (or the laser cutting bed). There are also two additional motors responsible for raising and lowering the work area to make sure the laser is focused.
We import our digital files (created in CAD programs, like Illustrator, Sketchup, etc.) into our laser cutting program. Once we have the file in the program, we change the settings depending on what we’re cutting/engraving. Then the program is responsible for translating an image to be cut or engraved into a series of instructions for the laser system and mechanical system: “Go here and then go here; fire the laser now and now stop firing” These two systems then work in concert to give us the desired result.
There you have it…the basics of how a laser cutting machine works. The next time you see Superman or the Death Star on the big screen, we hope you think of us!