What Must You Know About Laser Cutting?

As time goes by, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and laser cutting service in Singapore continue to play a vital role in our lives. Ever since it was discovered years ago, several things have changed. Through this laser cut technology, the manufacturing process of many goods become more automated and quicker to produce, and all of them have the same quality. As a result, manufacturers gain more spare time to promote their products, and customers can enjoy high-grade end products even more.

But despite the convenience the laser cut technology brings in Singapore, there are still people who are not aware of it, let alone know how it works and the mechanics behind this invention. What most people know about this matter is that it is new, modern technology, but no. The truth is laser cut technology has been around for several decades, which means it is not necessarily a new concept. It is just that many manufacturers rely on it now more than in the past.

To learn more about laser cut technology, keep on reading. At the end of this article, you will find out how this matter arrived on the manufacturing floor and its impact on modern production. Also, you would learn the reasons why businesses should consider hiring experts in CNC and laser cutting service in Singapore.


What is Laser Cutting?

In simple words, laser cutting is the process of using emitted lights to cut, score, engrave or alter materials.

Even though it sounds futuristic, this technology, as mentioned above, has been here and used for decades.  Like other innovations, its scope grows further as many industries decide to adopt it with much enthusiasm.

Now, it has become one of the most vital steps in completing a manufacturing or fabrication process. The need for precision, speed, and efficiency is more needed now by many. Otherwise, it would be hard for manufacturers to meet the demands of their customers, and they would not be able to enjoy the same quality of end product.

That is why laser cut technology is indeed an incredible invention since it can cut through materials and produce similar results one after another. Of course, that is only possible because the machines are working and controlled by computers.

After applying the algorithm, the laser beams can make the same pattern on any materials as the output. It will produce the same thing again until pre-programme changes to a new form and creates a different finished product.


What is the History of Laser Cutting?

As mentioned before, this innovation has been around for years. If you were to add the theories and experiments in between, its history began in 1990. In that year, the physicist named Max Planck was the first person to deduce the relationship between energy and the frequency of radiation. Back then, he said that energy could only get released and absorbed in discrete amounts.

And five years later, in 1905, Albert Einstein released an extension of that theory in his paper, Photoelectric Effect. Then in the year 1917, he presented another theory on Stimulated Emission and that made lasers possible.

But despite those findings, it took more or less 40 years before scientists proved the theories made by Einstein. That happened in 1954 when three scientists took the time to confirm these theories in the lab. These people are Charles Hard Townes, Herbert J. Zeiger, and James P. Gordon. Surprisingly, at that time, the strength of a laser was nothing compared to the ones we have today since it can only cut through like razor blades. Now, the most powerful laser is as strong as a hydrogen bomb.

Anyway, after 1954, another five years have passed. At a conference in 1959, an American physicist named Gordon Gould published the acronym LASER. Those letters stand for “Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation”.

Then nine years later, in 1965, the first time that laser cut technology was used in drilling holes in diamond dies, and that execution was made possible by Western Electric. Since then, this innovation took off from there.

After two years, in 1967, a German scientist named Peter Houldcroft started developing a laser-cutting nozzle, and that invention helps the process of laser cutting a lot easier. And from that point, several more people became interested in this technology. They began evaluating its possibilities. As such, it became a part of the manufacturing and fabrication processes today.

But the CNC and laser cutting service that we know today in Singapore uses computer-based programming systems to produce more accurate and quality end products. The process of this technology does not end here since it would surely improve more in years to come.


What Are the Types of Laser Cutting Machines?

Even though you now know the history of laser cutting, that does not mean you know how it works. Understanding its process can be complicated if you have no idea about the types of laser cutting machines used and their purposes.

To describe them, here are the three types of machines that a CNC and laser cutting service provider used in Singapore.


Crystal Lasers.

This laser cutting machine generates two light beams— Nd: YVO and Nd: YAG. The former is also known as neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate, and the latter is short term for neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet. Though between the two, Nd: YVO is more often used by many.

But both light beams can cut through any thick and durable materials since they have a smaller wavelength compared to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) lasers. That means they have a much higher intensity that allows them to cut through much thicker materials. The only problem with this matter is that they are more susceptible to wear and tear, and that is why this laser cutting machine has a shorter lifespan.

When comparing the two light beams, Nd YVO displays a higher pump absorption. That is the main reason it is suitable for a broader wavelength range. But in terms of continuous operation, both can achieve the same results. The main difference these two light beams have is that Nd: YVO has lower pulse energy than Nd: YAG.

NOTE:  Metals, coated metals, plastics, plastics, and some types of ceramics are the materials often used for this laser cutting machine.

Fibre Lasers.

On the other hand, this laser cutting equipment has changed the laser cutting industry with its speed and wavelength. Just for your information, CO2 lasers are suitable for non-metallic materials like wood and acrylic. They could also cut through thin aluminium sheets and non-ferrous metals such as copper and brass. And these are only plausible due to the properties and optical reflectivity they have.

The only reason that is possible to happen is that fibre lasers are in the same class as disk lasers and Nd: YAG, thus both belong to a family called solid-state lasers. Compared to the next laser cutting equipment: gas lasers, they do not have moving parts. Also, they could save two to three times more energy, cut through reflective materials with no fear of back reflections and work well with metals and plastics.

NOTE: Similar to crystal lasers, this one also does not need much maintenance. Plus, they are cheaper and can last longer. That is why many often choose this as an alternative to crystal lasers.

Gas Lasers.

Out of all the three laser cutting machines, this one is the oldest and often uses electrically stimulated CO2. Because of that, they are ideal for cutting through non-metals or engraving metals. That is why most providers often use this equipment for metal engraving and laser engraving in Singapore.

The way it works is a bit different. To produce light beams, this one requires a tube filled with a gas mixture such as nitrogen and helium, hydrogen or other types of gasses. Also, the tube area has mirrors on each end, and one of them is a reflective mirror, and the other is partial. A partial mirror means that it can let a bit of light pass through.

NOTE: Gas lasers are the most common laser cutting machines since they are more efficient and inexpensive. Plus, they cut through several materials like glass, some plastics, foams, and even leather-based products.

Now, have you understood the types of machines that a CNC and laser cutting service provider used in Singapore? If your answer is yes, then let us move on and learn the laser cutting methods. Knowing these pieces of information will help you determine what cutting plan is suitable for your needs.


What Are the Laser Cutting Methods Used in Various Situations?

As you already know, laser cutting emits lights to cut, score, and engrave or even alter materials. The process is non-contact machining, which means it can provide results without touching the actual material use itself.  Though, before that could happen, there are four laser cutting methods used, and each is suitable for different cases.


Fusion Cutting.

This laser cutting method works by partially melting the material through an ejected airflow. Since the transferring of material happens in its fluid state, the technique is called laser fusion cutting. Not only does it make use of inert gases such as argon and nitrogen, but it also has no oxidation incision for metals like iron and titanium.

Oxidation Melting Cutting.

Meanwhile, this laser cutting method is also known as laser flame cutting. It uses oxygen as the main cutting gas but could also use other insert gasses if necessary, though the pressure could only go up to six bars. As a result, the heated materials will react with the oxygen, causing the metal to burn and oxidise.

Another thing you should know about it is that it can cut faster than fusion cutting, but the cutting incision process may be a bit dull. Anyone will notice the cut seams and edges are rough.

Fracture-Controlled Cutting.

Another method used often by a CNC and laser cutting service provider in Singapore is this, and they are also known as laser scribing. The process it does uses high-energy-density to scan brittle materials. After that, it will run a laser beam in steep temperatures and crack the material along the small groove.

Laser Evaporation Cutting.

As the name suggests, the process of this method is to use high-energy-density, which will help the liquid to evaporate. Once done, the steam will form and rise, and that is when it can cut through the material.


How to Choose the Right CNC & Laser Cutting Service Provider?

Now that you know what laser cutting is and how it works, it is time to look for a CNC and laser cutting service provider in Singapore. Since this will be more or less your first time hiring one, you are probably clueless about what you need to do. That is why to make your search more manageable and less stressful, here are some helpful tips. Use them so you will be able to find the right provider that can help you with your laser cut needs in Singapore!

  • In your search for a CNC and laser cutting service provider, always check their available services. See if they have other offers than laser engraving and metal engraving in Singapore.
  • Next, you should confirm if their laser cutting machines are all high-quality and are in good condition. Since you are no physics of finding this out just by seeing them in person, you should ask for their documents and permits.
  • Besides their equipment, you should also know how good their customer service is. Doing so would give you an idea about what you can expect from them and if they will do what you ask for. You can find out about this matter by reading the customer reviews, either on their website or on Google reviews.

Nevertheless, let a reliable CNC and laser cutting service provider in Singapore like Cutting Edge satisfy your laser cut needs. If you consider choosing them, keep in mind that they are also well-known for their CNC wood cutting service in Singapore. To learn more about them, go to their website today!

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