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How does laser cutting work?

In laser machining, a computer directs a high power laser to cut out the desired shape from stock material. The laser burns away or vaporizes the material, leaving the desired shape behind.

Here are some parts made using laser machining from clear acrylic plastic:
Image Image Image

You may also want to read our FAQ on laser cutting quality.

when laser beam concentrated on specified area of workpiece the material will be heated and going to melting state then will be if burn or vapor state
Dr. John Sauter Thursday, 28 May 2009
not necessarily, when a material undergoes an intense enough temperature change (such as direct contact with the beam of an industrial class laser) it can change from a solid directly to a gas (vaporization)
thanks for helping me ,,,,,with my best regards
Can you also do laser engraving? I'd like to place some locating marks on the surface of the part. I'm OK with the default kerf width, and the depth isn't critical (as long as it's much less than the thickness of the part).
Can you laser cut a 1/16" diameter hole in acrylic plastic, 0.75" thick, or is that too small?
We'd probably drill that.
I've read articles about laser cutting magnesium sheet. Have you tried it?
We would waterjet cut magnesium. If you have a particular design you need, send it to us at the address on the Contact Us page
How smooth are the edges after laser cutting?
Very smooth on plastics. You can see some closeups in the photos on this page.

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Big Blue Saw
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Waterjet and Laser Cut Custom Parts.
Address for correspondence only:
3522 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE #145
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: (678) WAY-SAW4 (678) 929-7294