Laser processing equipment is universal both in terms of materials and in terms of production capabilities. What are the capabilities of laser CNC?
Using laser machines, you can perform operations such as:
1. Laser cutting
Cutting material is the most common use of laser equipment. Machines using the laser beam as a cutting tool can be found in metalworking and woodworking, in jewelry and advertising, in dental prosthetics, in the packaging and rubber packing industries, in shoe and sewing ateliers, and in many other manufacturing areas. The leading positions in the list of products that are produced on laser machines are:
- interior decor
- elements of advertising structures;
- plywood or cardboard constructors and puzzles;
- toys and objects made of felt, fleece, cardboard and plywood;
- covers for upholstered furniture and cars;
- parts for automotive and aircraft modeling.
It should be clarified that there are two types of laser equipment (we are talking about machines that are widely used in industry). Carbon dioxide or CO2 lasers are used when working with non-metallic materials and an extremely limited range of metals (brass and aluminum). For efficient cutting and engraving of metal surfaces, fiber optic laser machines are used.
2. Laser engraving
Laser engraving gives individuality and turns expensive gifts into priceless ones.
Laser beam engraving is the most accurate and clear. Images applied by this method have an unlimited shelf life, that is, they are not afraid of the effects of water, chemicals and friction. A computer-controlled laser with maximum detail and approximation to the original sample engraves photographs, complex patterns and text on the surface of materials, therefore it is a laser engraver that is used to decorate products such as:
- personalized watches, cigarette cases, lighters, stationery;
- wallets, purses, bags and other leather products;
- edged and small arms;
- seals and stamps;
- interior decoration items.
As can be seen from the list, laser engraving can be not only flat, but also rounded surfaces. To do this, a special rotary mechanism of two elements is connected to the machine engine, between which a workpiece of any cylindrical shape is fixed on weight. The rotation of the motor is transmitted to the product, which begins to rotate at a given speed, allowing the laser beam to continuously apply the image from all sides.
3. Laser Marking
Laser marking is distinguished by the highest possible clarity and readability even on small images
If the same machines are used for engraving as for cutting, then special devices are used for marking goods – laser markers. They are distinguished by small dimensions of the working field and specific software, which includes an extensive database of fonts, nomenclature characteristics of a wide range of products, all varieties of barcodes, logos of production enterprises, etc.
The principle of operation of the markers is similar to the work of engravers – a laser beam removes a layer of the desired depth and width from the surface of the material, gradually forming the desired image. However, if engraving fulfills, first of all, a decorative role and is not an attribute necessary for products, then marking must be present on all products in one form or another. It allows you to identify and classify products, facilitates their accounting, storage and transportation, and also provides the consumer with all the key information about the product. This can be an expiration date, size, serial number, article number, etc. As in the case of engraving images, the laser marking does not wash off, does not wear out over time and does not undergo any other deformations that make it difficult to identify, therefore, on most large and small enterprises use laser beam for its application.
4. Laser perforation
Another technological operation that a laser machine allows to produce is perforation. If mechanical drilling involves translational-rotational movement of the cutting tool deep into the material, then the laser beam simply burns through the surface in seconds or fractions of a second, depending on the material. With the right focus, this hole will have ideal characteristics. If the focus is set incorrectly, then on the walls of the hole there will be a noticeable narrowing closer to the wrong side.
Laser perforation is used to decorate clothes, shoes and leather goods, in the manufacture of electronic circuit boards and in all other areas where precision holes are required.
What else do you need to know to work on a laser machine? Read here:
- CNC laser machines
- Comparison of CO2 gas lasers with solid-state lasers
- FAQ: How to choose laser cutter?
What can you do with laser cutter and engraver:
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