Laser cutting has become an essential process in specialized craft industries. Lasers are capable of making cuts and etchings with a degree of precision control unachievable by purely mechanical methods. The ability to make only the cuts needed for the project, to the exact pattern of the template, without risking damage to the substrate, has ushered in a new era of fine scale decorative work with less wastage of raw stock.
A good carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, for example, is perfect for creating etched designs in glass. This is because the laser is far more flexible in application and easier to handle. The beam makes its marks only to the depth required and without causing potential damage to the material outside the pattern, unlike with sandblasting or diamond etching. The laser etching process does not risk the creation of microstructural defects which makes glass more prone to breakage.
For sign cutting and engraving, a laser is an ideal tool. A design can be executed precisely from a master template or a high-resolution image file. Signs can be precision cut or inlaid for name plates, badges, plaques, announcement displays, custom signage, and office and door signs. And unlike with bladed implements, the edges left by a laser cutting are perfectly smooth. This eliminates the necessity to sand or grind down rough spots, speeding up production time without sacrificing quality.
Industrial-scale laser machines can execute a design from a computer generated image or a picture file. The control computer can accept files in one of several different formats. A high-resolution file is necessary to ensure high accuracy and the proper reproduction during the cutting process. For example, working from a scanned photo, the laser cutter can reproduce the image as an etching into metal, acrylic, or wood surfaces. The cutters will also work from any CAD application such as CorelDraw, Illustrator, or AutoCAD. The only limitation is that color designs cannot be executed for obvious reasons. However, any line art design or greyscale image can be engraved to any scale and reproduced to the last detail.
Online articles and other boss laser reviews can give far more information about the full range of capabilities of laser cutting equipment. The applications to which lasers can be put are numerous. Whether the need is for engraving, model making, wood cutting or metal etching, lasers offer both precision and flexibility unmatched by any other tool now available.