How does a CO₂ laser cutting machine work?
December 6, 2019

Lasers are a technology that is used for various purposes, one of those purposes is engraving. Laser cutting is a precise engraving technique that can be completed on numerous materials by use of a specialised machine. Read more below about laser cutting machines:


What is it?

A laser cutting machine uses a laser beam to cut custom designs from materials or etch a design into a material. A commonly used laser for engraving is a CO₂ laser, which was developed in 1963 by Bell Labs. Laser cutting machines are now used in many industries to complete various tasks. Laser cutting machines can be used in industries such as electronics, medicine, art and so much more. In this case, we will be looking at its artistic function.


How does it work?

The laser cutting machine works by melting, burning or vaporising a material according to a design that has been sent to the machine via a CAD file. Firstly, the word ‘laser’ is an acronym for ‘light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation’. A laser is a device that converts light into a high intensity beam that can cut through objects. The laser cutting machine harnesses this energy and uses it to cut precise, intricate designs. The CO₂ laser machine beam is invisible to the human eye as it is a wavelength of infrared light. This light is focussed onto a plate by use of beam benders, they allow the light to bounce around before exiting the nozzle of the laser cutting machine, and a special lens. The lens is used to create a round dot of consistent energy that can be used to accurately burn complex designs.