Different Metals You Can Cut With A Laser

Laser-cutting-servicesA laser is an electronic device that emits a light through a process known as optical amplification and is based on stimulating the emission of electromagnetic radiation. Laser is an acronym for the word light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Lasers differ from all other light sources as the light they emit is coherent.

Because of this, it is easier to focus a beam of this light on a spot enabling one handle applications like lithography and laser cutting. It is also this coherence that allows the beam to remain narrow over a long distance without distortion or breaking.

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Four Surprising Household Items Made Using Lasers

In culture today, the word laser brings up thoughts of science fiction battles between spaceships, or catastrophic death rays wielded by mad scientists.

However, powerful lasers are actually used in much more ordinary contexts than most people realize. Here are four common items you will be surprised to find out are made with lasers.

5_dandelion-greens-flatware_7-gorgeous-flatware-patterns-from-anthropologie1. Silverware

In the past, silverware was made by more traditional methods of shaping metal. However, since the advent of powerful metal-slicing lasers, some silverware manufacturers switched over to using them for their fabrication processes.

Instead of shaping metal from individual bars into silverware, a laser cutter is used to cut out flat knives, spoons, and forks out of a piece of sheet metal. This is done by heating the metal around the desired pieces to incredible heats until it melts away. These flat models left behind by the laser are then manipulated by a machine into their final curves and angles.

2. Dog Tags

We don’t usually think of dog tags as being laser-age technology, but that is how most engraving is done. To make everything from dog tags to plaques to medical bracelets, a laser can be used to make the precise cuts necessary to form long lasting engravings on metal or plastic.

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This is done by programming a computer to control the laser with incredible precision to cut each character perfectly. Then, the technician just needs to type the desired words into a computer, and the laser cutting program does the rest. This is how custom dog tags end up with your dog’s name, address, and other information.

3. Toys

Your child may be more excited about wooden blocks or jigsaw puzzles if you tell them they were made with a laser! The programmable nature of laser cutters make them perfect for repetitive cutting tasks, such as children’s toys made in the same model every time. Lasers have almost completely replaced the “jigsaw” in “jigsaw puzzle,” for example, since the process of cutting up a piece of cardboard into puzzle pieces is perfectly suited to a computer.

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4. Upholstery

Leather and fabric are often cut using lasers. The precision and clean cuts are ideal for saving materials and making edges that are straight and not frayed or damaged. Because of this, nearly all high quality leather work is now done with laser cutters. Chances are, if you have a couch, it was made with lasers.