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LASER CUTTING / ETCHING MACHINES -1

V. Ryan 2007

 

 

Laser cutting and etching machines are relatively new in schools and colleges although the first industrial machine was introduced in 1988 by a USA based company called EPILOG. Laser cutters/etching machines are capable of very accurate work as a laser is used to etch or cut material precisely. They can be used in the cutting/ shaping of precise parts for prototype architectural models and etching a range of materials such as glass, marble, woods, plastic and even stainless steel.

 
   

A framed engraving of a family coat of arms is shown below. Inside the wood frame is a small sheet of glass and the coat of arms has been engraved/etched into the top surface using a EPILOG laser cutter / engraver. Before the introduction of laser cutters this process would have taken a considerable amount of time and the coat of arms would have been engraved by a skilled craftsperson, using a range of sophisticated glass engraving tools.
The laser cutter / engraver uses a laser ‘beam’ to etch the shapes to precisely the correct depth. The laser machine takes a fraction of the time to manufacture a piece of work of this type compared to traditional methods.

 
LASER CUTTING STEEL PLATE
 
 
LASER CUTTER
 

More examples of objects engraved / cut using a laser cutter/etching machine are shown below.

   
     

A typical Laser Cutter / Etching Machine is shown below. The example shown is no larger than a typical photocopier. A vacuum bed holds the work to cut/ engraved securely and the lens system directs the laser as it cuts / etches the material.

 

   

 

 

   
 
     
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