Laser cutting machines cut through a wide range of materials including plastic, acrylic, wood and leather to create anything from puzzles to automotive and machine parts. There are key terms used that not only name and describe capabilities. It is essential for business owners who plan to use laser cutting machine technology to learn key terms to select the right types of equipment. Become familiar with key terms for laser cutting machines and select and use the best tools for your business.
Carbon dioxide laser
A carbon dioxide laser is one of the earliest types of laser cutting machines. These lasers use continuous wave technology and are the highest power as well as the most efficient lasers available.
Laser resonators or optical cavities are a major component of lasers. Mirrors inside the cavity resonate laser light waves. Light inside the cavity generates laser waves at various frequencies. There are two types of resonator lasers and they are longitudinal and transverse.
Solid state lasers
Solid state lasers use a medium that is solid to do cutting. Other types of lasers use liquids or gases. The medium used for solid state lasers is usually made of glass or crystalline. Solid state lasers are the first type of laser produced and used for cutting, drilling and trimming.
Rotary attachments for lasers cut circular or cylindrical objects. Rotary attachments adjust to cut circular or cylindrical objects that have lips as well as to create image scaling so that users can cut many sizes of objects without having to take the time to manually calculate circumferences.
Beam guidance is a technique used to guide and focus laser beams at specified areas to do cutting and trimming. Beam guidance allows lasers to operate at distances from target areas and provide efficient use and productivity. The military uses beam guidance to direct missiles at targets.
Vector files are required for types of laser cutting, engraving and etching. Vector files are graphic format files that store images as mathematical calculations that provide coordinates for laser cutting. Vector files are transferred to a laser printer and then the vector points are converted by the laser cutter and the file is cut out of material into whatever shape is desired.