Laser Cutting and Engraving
Laser cutting technology uses a highly focused laser beam to cut and engrave designs onto a wide range of materials. We begin the process by programming the machine to follow our CAD (computer aided design) instructions, setting paths for the laser beam to follow.
Materials of course possess different physical properties, so we also need to program the correct power, speed and focus settings before we begin. Understanding, these properties is the key to achieving a quality result, so a little patch testing is sometimes required.
When everything is set up correctly and we press ‘GO’! The laser will then render our chosen designs with a degree of accuracy that traditional methods cannot match. The versatility of this technology is truly amazing, from the ability to laser cut very delicate materials such as paper, all the way through to steel plate.
Listed below are the four laser processes we can offer you. If you have any questions or just want a quotation, click here.
Laser cutting uses a highly focused laser beam that follows a vector path, (produced in a CAD program such as Adobe Illustrator, AutoCAD or Solidworks for example). The laser beam literally vaporises the material that it comes into contact with. This allows very intricate patterns and designs to be produced.
Raster engraving allows us to mark the whole space within vector shapes. Unlike laser cutting where the laser head follows a single vector path, raster engraving works like a traditional printer. The process renders the whole vector shape line by line. By understanding the material properties, and altering the speed, power and focus of the laser, we can achieve varying engraved depths and effects.
Vector engraving is a similar process to laser cutting. However this time we want the laser to just mark the material rather than cut it. By varying the speed and power of the laser, precise single line designs can be achieved. The thickness of the line can also be determined by varying focus of the laser.
Photo engraving works much like raster engraving. We use the head of the laser to render the image line by line, (again much like a traditional printer). We begin by converting your image to grey scale, (one with grey tones ranging between black and white). The laser reads the tonal qualities of the image with the darker regions receiving the most laser power.