The laser cutting process is truly amazing! Even after all the years we’ve been doing it, we’re still blown away by it and get a huge kick out of seeing the lasers in action and the amazing works we’re asked to produce on a daily basis!
LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. In essence, our lasers use a laser source to generate a stream of focused photons, in essence light we can melt, burn or vaporise the material we focus it at. This is done on a quantum level and is truly impressive!
Some of the advantages of cutting on the lasers are that the beam does not move the material when cutting, so we generally don’t need to clamp it down. Also, the ‘kerf’ (amount of material removed during the cutting process) is relatively low, so it only cuts a thin line, unlike using a saw or other method like CNC.
We are able to control the process to such an extent, we can cut through a piece of 25mm acrylic, or engrave a design on a chiffon material! Unfortunately, lasers are not handheld and only move over the material we place underneath them. So, we always need a drawing, normally a vector file to cut from. So, every job we do needs artwork, this is where we start.
The beam is emitted from what’s called the ‘laser tube’ and is reflected by several mirrors up into the ‘laser head’ (like a periscope.) Within the head is a lens that finely focuses the beam onto the material surface for cutting or engraving.
The kerf refers to how much of the material the laser takes away when cutting through. (the width of the groove made while cutting.) This varies from material to material and is also dependent on the laser beam tolerance i.e. the width of the beam. All our machines have a very fine tolerance.
You send us your artwork and we check to see if it is fine for the laser cutter and the material you would like to cut. The machine reads vector strokes of hairline thickness in red or as thin as you make them.
We lay your chosen material in our machine bed and configure the machine to cut your artwork. We adjust the Power, Speed and Frequency to suit your specific material. We have 9 laser cutters in our studio. The maximum sheet size we can cut is an enormous 3000×2000mm.
The machine will then follow the path of your drawing strokes to cut out the components you have drawn.
Depending on the material, we usually use a protective backing during the laser cutting process that can be peeled away after the cutting is complete. This protects the surface from heat and burn marks.