A laser machine uses a high-powered beam of light to cut or engrave material. The laser beam is directed to the work area by mirrors within the system. The mirrors direct the beam to either a focus lens or the cutting surface of the material being cut. The laser generator and external optics are typically cooled with water or another liquid or gas. The waste heat is transferred from the system through the cooling fluid or directly to air, depending on system size and configuration.
Lasers are used for cutting a variety of materials, from plastic and wood to metal and other industrial materials. Different laser technologies are suited to particular applications. For example, fiber lasers are ideal for engraving and can transfer a computer image to a piece of metal in seconds. They are also highly efficient, requiring less maintenance and repair than traditional mechanical cutters.
The laser cutting process is controlled by a special computer software program called G-code. This consists of a series of commands that tell the laser exactly where to move and how much power to use. It is easy to prepare a G-code file by hand for simple shapes, but more complex designs require CAD or CAM software to generate the instructions.
Some materials, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), produce toxic cyanide or chlorine gas when cut with a laser. This can damage the optics and create corrosive fumes that are dangerous to the operator. In addition, some materials like felt and styrofoam may catch fire when cut by a laser.
If you plan to use your laser laser-machine.co.uk/ on skin, you must make sure the device is approved for this purpose. Lasers can cause irritation and even permanent scarring in some cases, especially on darker skin tones. However, more and more brands are making devices designed to minimize discomfort or risk for patients with deep pigmentation.
There are several components to a laser system, including the laser generator and external optics, the laser head, and the laser control computer. All of these components need to be cooled so that the laser does not overheat. The coolant can be a liquid such as water or a gas such as nitrogen or argon. The coolant is pumped through the laser system by a pump or other coolant-circulation device.
In addition to the laser head, a laser control computer and a computer graphics program are necessary for laser cutting/engraving systems. Some laser systems have additional features such as a vector cutting grid that improves the accuracy of cuts and reduces residue buildup on the work table.
A laser cutting/engraving system can cost between $9,995 and $73,000, depending on the engraving table size, wattage of the laser, and optional accessories such as a filtration system. The wattage of the laser determines how fast it engraves and cuts, while the engraving table size determines the maximum thickness of material that can be cut or engraved with the machine.