Laser cutting acrylic

Laser cutting acrylic

Laser cutting acrylic

In the beginning glance this appears like type of a basic question, but these terms get interchanged all of the time. If you think it through, this can cause confusion on both the buyer and the gear provider sides, causing mistakes and mishaps in configuring the correct machine for the job. Laser cutting acrylic

I've been mixed up in laser business since 1986, presently with Trotec, but previously with various kinds of laser companies who provide both standard and custom equipment for a wide selection of applications. In that point I've always worked closely with the Applications Technicians who are tasked with determining the feasibility of a project and specifying the correct process AND laser for the job. So this is exactly what I learned from them over the years.

Laser Engraving acrylic laser cutting service
This is the most common term and simply defined, implies that in the act of making the mark, material is removed or vaporized through the process. An illustration in our business is CO2 laser engraving plastic for signage. This is often a two-ply plastic with one color called the "cap" laminated to a contrasting color called the "core ".The engraving process removes the cap and exposes the core to produce a sign that's a stylish look. There is also engraving in the processing of metals. Typically used to guarantee permanence, material is removed to generate depth. Usually this can be a process reserved for 1,064nm wavelength lasers (YAG for example) as those kinds of lasers couple well with metals. When engraving metals in this manner the laser is breaking the machined surface of the object, so oxidation or rusting can occur as a result. This would be a question during the time of feasibility testing. "Are you wanting depth? If that's the case would you understand that the base material could oxidize? With regards to the answer another option could be Laser Marking.

Laser Marking
Annealing or precipitation marking is commonly used when processing metal items where the surface of the part must stay intact. Often stuff like surgical implants, surgical instruments or high precision bearings require this type of marking. With laser marking, heat of the laser actually redistributes the carbon in the material to produce a jet black mark with only micron level surface disruption. If done properly there will be no oxidation or rusting even under salt spray tests or autoclaving. Some plastics like ABS and Delrin also enable a good contrast when processed with a 1,064nm laser. In the event that you processed the exact same material with a CO2 laser you would get an engraved marked without any contrast. This is all a matter of wavelength and how it reacts to the material OR the pigment in the material.

Laser Cutting Know more
This may also be confused with laser engraving but really means totally sectioning a bit or cutting shapes directly through material. Most laser cutting is conducted with CO2 lasers as again they connect to the material rather than the pigment within the material. We work a lot with acrylics which may be employed for signage, retail displays and many other applications. While cutting, special attention is taken for smooth cuts and what is a called "flame polished edges ".There are times where high powered, pulse YAGs are employed for metal cutting but even with one of these materials, high powered CO2's seem to do the very best job. In the cutting world, the other technology that is used is water jetting which also does a good job on metal and stone. Cutting does not always mean thick materials though. Other common applications are paper cutting, leather sectioning and even things like gasket cutting.