Laser cutters use a laser beam for cutting materials, and are typically used for industrial manufacturing applications. The cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser, at the material to be cut. The material melts (at the beam path), burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving a high-quality surface finish edges. Those CNC machines uses a computer and cutting software that takes a design file and implements it on the material to be cut to produce the desired cut.
Laser fabrication supports the cutting of a pattern within a pattern. Here are some of the materials a laser cutter can cut:
Plastics – Including acrylics, ABS, Lucite, plexiglass, mylar, Kapton tape and styrene
Wood – The laser cutter can cut designs into wood, including personalized pencils, wooden jewelry, wood picture frames, furniture and more.
Foam – XPS foam for RC planes, Depron foam, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), Styrene. Other material – clothing, paper, rubber.
It allows a level of accuracy and complexity not possible if using conventional machining tools. It is ideal for cutting flexible semi-rigid and soft materials. The laser cutter uses a high-density and powerful light energy running through its laser beam, which in turn burns the material. The laser beam is typically 0.2mm (0.008inches) in diameter at the cutting surface, with a power of 1000-2000 watts.
It will produce any 2D shape, including shapes cutouts and inserts, using a CAD file. Its main advantages are high accuracy, good quality cuts, high processing speed, low deformation of the cut out material and ability to cut small holes and small material (as small as 1m in size).