Laser Cutting – A Contract Manufacturing Overview

Laser is the abbreviation used to represent the term “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”, which can be translated into our language as “amplification of light by stimulated emission of radiation”. This is the same laser used in the so famous fiber laser cutting machine.

It is a device that produces electromagnetic waves, that is, light, with specific characteristics. The characteristics of the laser light are as follows:

Monochromatic means that it has only a well-defined wavelength and therefore only one color;

Coherent: the electromagnetic waves produced by the laser are all in phase;

Collimated: there is little divergence between the rays of light produced by the laser, and they are practically parallel. This causes this light to propagate over large distances without losing power.

Laser operation in fiber laser cutting machine and in other laser cutters

The first laser came in the year 1960, its operation being based on the theory of Einstein and Planck, who claimed that light was formed by “packets of energy” called photons.

The atoms are formed by protons, neutrons and electrons, and the electrons are located in the electrosphere around the nucleus. Each electron occupies a specific energy level in the electrosphere. When in the ground state, the energy of the electron equals zero (E0), if the atom receives energy from some source, it will move it to a higher energy level (EX), called the excited state. However, if you lose energy, the electron will tend to migrate to a lower energy level, emitting photons. This might sound complicated, but there are thousands of laser cutter machines that work just fine in the world.

More on laser and its magic

There are three processes in which the electron can move from one energy level to another, they are:

Absorption: when an electron in its ground state of energy is subjected to an electromagnetic radiation and absorbs photons, passing into an excited state;

Spontaneous emission: occurs when the atom is in its excited state of energy and is not subjected to any energy. After some time, the electron passes into the ground state spontaneously, emitting a photon;

Stimulated emission: also occurs when the electron is in an excited state and is subjected to electromagnetic radiation, i.e., photons. A photon of energy stimulates the atom by passing into the ground state by emitting another photon. This is common in many fiber laser cutting machine.

How to trigger the laser

The laser works when it receives enough energy to excite a quantity of electrons from a material to a higher energy level until there are more electrons excited than in the ground state.

When this occurs, these electrons are stimulated to emit their photons, thus initiating a cascade effect: the emitted photon stimulates the next to emit another photon and so on. This amplifies the emission of light beams with well-defined wavelength.

Currently, lasers have several applications. Larger lasers are used in nuclear fusion research in astronomy to measure great distances and also in military applications. This is why laser engraver machine for example sound so simple and common; however, every single laser cutter machine has laser inside working as described in this article. The smaller lasers can be used in reading bar codes, reading CDs and DVDs, minor surgeries, cutting fabrics, among others.

Check out this link for more information at: http://www.instructables.com/id/10-Tips-and-Tricks-for-Laser-Engraving-and-Cutting/.

 

Laser Cutter Company Reviews:

Be certain to get feedback from machine owners prior to purchase.  Forums can sometimes be a source for reviews as long as you get advice from actual machine owners. Here’s examples of reviews on a CNC forum.   Another review from a forum post on the software usability.  And this company in particular may be a great company.  Point is that reviews can be found all over online.  Best to get reviews from third party sites, however.

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