A beginner’s guide to laser CNC

by | 7 Dec '22

What is laser CNC?

A CNC laser machine is a piece of computer numerical control (CNC) equipment that uses a high-powered laser beam to mark, cut, or engrave a material. This allows the user to form custom shapes in accurate and repeatable ways.

There are two main types of laser CNC—the CO2 laser machine, and the fibre laser machine. CO2 is a more cost-effective machine that is used to cut materials such as wood and plastic, typically found in schools or in the design sector.

Meanwhile, the fibre laser machine is a more suitable machine to cut certain types of metals. You’re much more likely to find this type of machine in the metalwork and construction industry.

How does a laser cutter work?

The CO2 laser uses a CO2 filled tube and fully reflective mirrors to create a laser beam powerful enough to cut through a wide range of materials. Fibre laser cutters generate a certain wavelength of high-power laser beam, produced using stimulated radiation and amplified by the fibre optic cable, which can cut through metals including steel, brass and aluminium.

The software that comes with the machine is what allows the precise shapes and patterns to be programmed into a laser machine, producing the parts or engravings necessary to your needs.

What can you do with a laser cutter?

You might want a laser cutter if you work with design or technology, such as if you are a teacher, student, or hobbyist in this area. Your business could require laser CNC if you often work with metal parts or other pieces that need to be cut precisely.

These machines are best known for cutting shapes out of materials, but they also have the same value for marking or engraving. For designers, precise marking can allow innovation and creativity, and for many industries such as personalised gifts or trophies, engraving can offer a personal touch to gifts and awards.

You probably own something that has been cut by a CNC machine without even realising it. Anything that has been personalised with a word or name, such as personalised baubles, wedding gifts, artwork, etc.. has likely been processed by a laser machine.

How can you get one?

You can find a range of different CNC laser machines right here on the Boxford site. Take a look at our range of fibre and CO2 laser cutters to browse more of the features of these machines, or get in touch with us for more information on laser CNC.