How does a laser cutter work?

 A laser cutter is a device that produces a monochromatic, coherent beam of light to do cuttings. A laser cutter involves a motion controlled system to follow a CNC (computer numerical control)or G-code of the pattern to be cut onto the material.

In the present world, laser cutters are used in different fields for different purposes which vary from:

  • Cutting metal plates.
  • Cutting aluminium
  • Cutting steel, both mild and stainless steel.

The cutting process of a laser cutting machine

In the cutting process of a CO2 laser cutter, a beam is directed down to the part being cut. The cutting part sits on a computer controlled platform which moves the piece around the stationary laser beam. Cutting is completed by passing the beam through a focusing lens which exits through the bottom of a cutting edge nozzle. Oxygen gas is fed inside the chambers below the focusing lens. The combination of the laser beam and the oxygen gas which passes through the nozzle serves the purpose of vaporizing the steel or any other metal for cutting.

Using and handling skills of a laser engraver

Using a laser cutting machine or a laser engraver requires special handling techniques because, without the skills, no matter how greater the machine might be,an excellent result cannot be achieved. Before using the laser machine, read the instruction manual, especially whenever you’re uncertain about the numbers, settings or the compatibility.

It is worth noting that not all materials can be cut using the machine, for example, a laser machine cannot cut all types of plastic materials especially those that emits toxic gases when in contact with a laser machine, it is also advisable to wear protective gear like gloves, eye protector and heavy clothing. A computer drawing program like the Adobe Illustrator or Coredraw may be necessary to to make perfect designs and cuttings. Click here !

Advantages of a laser cutting machine

  • There is reduced contamination of work piece. This is because no cutting edge which becomes contaminated or contaminates the material since thereis no direct contact of the work piece with the cutting tool.
  • Laser cutting process is easily controlled by computer programs making it very precise as well as saving a considerable amount of work.
  • There is reduced the chance of warping the material that is being cut, as laser systems have a small heat-affected zone.
  • Laser cutting is more accurate as it cuts only the specific and intended part and the heat does not affect the rest of the work piece because the heated area is very small.

Disadvantages of using laser cutting

Cutting plastics using the laser cutting machine emits poisonous fumes which call for the workplace to be well ventilated which is equally and expensive process.

Some metals such as copper cannot be cut using laser technology making it limited to only specified metals only.

In conclusion:

Laser cutting has been very reliable for large industrial cuttings as well as for domestic purposes. The technology advancement has been in use for many decades making it a very effective and trusted method of cutting. It is for these reasons that every industry or small establishment that engages in material cutting activities should have and use a laser cutter machine.  If you’re looking for a machine be sure to review customers’ feedback.  There are third party review sites that Google approves for legitimate feedback.  Don’t take reviews on the company site too seriously as they can be manipulated.  Forums sometimes have reviews IF and only if it is from an actual customer and not some know it all with no experience.  Here’s Bodor Laser reviews.

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Small Laser Cutting Machines

We are going to talk about new technologies of cutting of materials, more specifically of the fiber laser cutting machine that provides several advantages in both cost and quality of the service. When you are researching about laser cutting machines, you will find various models, cutting capabilities, platform sizes, etc.   Laser cutters offer a versatile and economical way to laser cut or engrave many different or unique materials.   The type of laser technology you need will mainly be dependent on the material you or your shop needs to process.  Let’s talk about two technologies of fiber laser cutting machine and Co2 Laser Cutting (Conventional).

Briefly, these technologies are directly related to the formation of the laser beams wavelength that in turn processes the material on the z-table.

Laser Beam Generation

In the generation of the CO2 laser beam is produced by a mixture of gases. This beam has a wavelength of 10.6 microns and an efficiency of about 8%. This poor efficiency in the generation of the laser beam generates a lot of heat and, therefore, requires a lot of cooling, requiring the use of a cooling turbine. This turbine must undergo annual maintenance and be replaced every approximately 40,000 hours on the CO2 laser cutter.

Differently, the fiber laser cutting machine is a solid state laser beam generated by the excitation of crystals. The wavelength is 1.06 microns and has an efficiency of 30%, and does not require much cooling. Without the need for gas to generate the beam does not require turbine cooling, the operation and maintenance costs are drastically reduced. The life of the source is equal to the lifetime of the equipment.

Is the difference too big?

There is another big difference between the types of laser cutting machines based on the laser wavelength namely fiber technology and CO2 based technology.

How the laser beam is transported on laser cutters

In CO2 laser cutter machines the transport of the beam is done by a system of mirrors. These mirrors require maintenance and should be replaced from time to time as they deteriorate due to particles that may enter the circuit.

Fiber laser cutting machines, the beam is transported through a fiber optic cable, which is maintenance free, consequently brings a great savings in costs with preventive and corrective maintenance compared to the mirrors mentioned above.

Power Consumption

Due to the low efficiency obtained in the generation of CO2 laser and the great need for cooling the energy consumption is higher. The fiber laser cutting machine operates on much less energy and thus more efficient as it does not require as much cooling due to its generation system is again – more efficient.  Overall the loss of energy in laser generation is much lower.

As an example, a 5 kW CO2 laser cutting machine consumes approximately 70 kW when a 3 kW fiber laser consumes about 25 KW *.

* It is believed that a 3 kW fiber machine is equivalent in performance to a 5 KW CO2 machine.

In general terms, we can say that a fiber laser machine has 60% less energy consumption than a CO2 laser.


Epilog laser has a great machine for engraving but prices are very high.  But, if you have the money it is one of the best options.  The performance of the laser cutter machine for thin sheets (up to 5 mm thick), is more effective than a CO2 machine. This is mainly due to the wavelength of the fiber bundle which is 10 times smaller than that of CO 2 (1.06 microns compared to 10.6 microns). 5 mm thick, the performance of both is very similar. Another advantage of fiber laser cutting machine is its superior performance when processing reflective materials such as aluminum, bronze or copper.  Also as a side note you can review the aforementioned laser company here: Boss Laser.  Its a pretty good laser cutter for the price.  Their company info can be found from a third party Chamber of Commerce page:

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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.

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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 Camfive reviews on a CNC forum.  CamFive Laser Review from CNC Zone thread on the software usability.  Reviews can be found all over online.  Best to get reviews from third party sites, however.

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Laser Cutting Companies

The laser beam is formed by light particles (photons) concentrated and emitted as a continuous beam. To do this, you need to stimulate the atoms of some material to emit photons. This light is channeled with the help of mirrors to form a beam. The technology was created in 1960 by Theodore Maiman. At the time, the American physicist encouraged ruby ​​atoms to emit concentrated light. Since then, laser has evolved and is currently used in home, surgical, industrial, and military and space devices – laser beams have even been used to measure the distance between Earth and the Moon. Although it is possible to create weapons to blind enemies and to intercept Missiles (warming them to explode), laser-firing pistols, as illustrated in many comics, are not so far from reality as many people might think. However, nowadays it is possible to see lasers used in real life, as in companies that use laser cutter reviews.  You can also see some laser cutter machinery here.  Here are some powerful laser metal cutters.

Light, camera, action – for new business chances

Creating a laser looks like a ballad, with lots of energy, frantic lighting, and a set of mirrors. Every laser needs an active principle that can be solid, like ruby, or gaseous, like carbon dioxide, inside a closed chamber. The atoms of the material are stimulated to generate light, the main ingredient of a laser beam. In order for the light to emerge, it is necessary to excite the atoms of the active principle. The stimulus may occur by electricity, by the light of a less powerful laser, by a light source or by chemical reactions. This energizes the electrons and stimulates them to try to escape the atoms.

The tendency of excited atoms is to return to stability, with the electrons returning to their original state. When this happens, the energy that stimulated the electron dissipates as light particles (photons). That is why using laser cutter happens in a safe way, nothing will explode. This is the basic concept of the machines, and each model has its variations, all working in the same style. More details here:

How Does the Laser Tube fire?

In addition to the external energy that powers the laser tube, the photons also excite neighboring atoms, making the co2 laser engraver work, for example. With this, the amplification of the light scrolls. The term is mentioned in the acronym that forms the word laser. A pair of exactly parallel mirrors commands the circulating photons moving around the cylinder. Instead of bouncing off all sides, the photons begin to circulate in the same direction, forming a coherent beam of light, that is, in which the light does not diffuse. The front mirror does not actually reflect all the light that strikes it. It lets the tube emit only 2% of the coherent beam of light. This then is the laser beam! The material used to create the beam determines the color of the beam. The power of the laser is regulated by the amount of energy expended to stimulate the emission of light, making the magic happen in the co2 laser engraver.

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