It has been twenty years now since laser was first used to make signage and similar products. In this huge time frame, sign makers and other professionals have found new laser engraving and varied usage of the laser technology to provide better products and services to their customers.
In comparison to mechanical cutting, laser cutting and engraving has evolved to become a technology that is a level above the rest. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high power laser, by computer, at the material to be cut leaving an edge with a high quality surface finish. Laser cutting is mostly used for metals such as carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel and copper alloys. It is widely used in the metal fabrication industry to increase cutting speed and cutting capacity, reduce production costs, increase productivity and improve cutting quality. Its primary advantages are precision, cutting quality, cutting speed and economy.
Laser cutting include easier work holding and reduced contamination of work piece. It provides greater levels of precision since the laser beam does not wear during the process. Moreover some materials are also very difficult or impossible to cut by more traditional means thus in that case laser cutting is the best option available to work things out. A mechanical cutter can only cut detail as fine as the diameter of the smallest available tool. A laser cutter by contrast can cut to the width of the laser beam, measured in hundredths of a millimeter. Mechanical cutting leaves a rougher edge finish to the cut surface than laser cutting, which need additional operations to achieve the standard of finish achieved with a laser. It leaves a polished, finished edge requiring no further work.
Alike laser cutting, laser engraving is the practice of using lasers to engrave or mark an object. As the laser moves it removes tiny dots of material. The image is usually built line by line, similar to the way an ink-jet printer works. The technique can be very technical and complex, and often a computer system is used to drive the movements of the laser head. Despite this complexity, very precise and clean engravings can be achieved at a high rate. Laser engraving can be performed on a wide variety of substrates starting from acrylic, glass, crystal, marble, granite, stone, metal, plastic, wood and even stamping material. Laser engraving is required in many different applications including jewelry and industrial purposes. is highly accurate as it is computer controlled. So the biggest leap in the laser technology is the interface of the laser equipments with the normal computer which makes laser equipments more simple and easy to operate.