A Brief Explanation of How a CO2 Laser Cutter Works

Laser cutting in the factory

A laser cutter is a complex type of gas laser the lets electricity pass through a gas-filled tube. It uses light to produce a laser beam. The gas is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, helium, and nitrogen. But how does it cut through any material?

How it Works

The laser beam that the CO2 laser cutter machine emits is a very high-intensity light. Since most laser beams used for cutting is in the Infra-red portion of the light spectrum, it is undetectable by the naked eye. There are several mirrors strategically positioned on the plate which directs the beam in the right direction.

The mirrors surrounding the tube of gases make the light even more powerful. Nitrogen gas helps build the intensity of the light as the mirrors reflect the light waves. The light then travels back and forth inside the tube, until it becomes bright enough to go through the machine’s partly reflective mirror.

You can focus the laser beam when you use a particular lens or a curved mirror. However, you have to focus the beam in a specific spot so that the density of the beam’s energy is consistent and is entirely centered.

Consider the distance of the machine to the target. Keep in mind that the laser beam only melts the material when cutting through aluminum or stainless steel. So keeping it at the right distance can help determine the right focal point from the plate’s surface.

Imagine it as a magnifying glass. When you use the magnifying glass to focus the sunlight on a specific target, it can start a fire.
The light emitted from a CO2 laser machine is strong enough to cut its way through various materials such as wood, cloth, and paper. In fact, other machines are powerful enough to cut through steel and other types of metal.

For many businesses, a laser cutting machine gives them the efficiency and productivity they need to make a mark in their industry.