Prototyping: Laser Cutter
One of the in-house machines that Perception Engineering uses to service its customers is a CO2 laser cutter. With this laser cutter, Perception Engineering provides its customers with accurately cut parts. CO2 lasers have been around since the mid-sixties and to this day are still some of the most reliable, powerful, and accurate lasers used. This blog will talk about some of the lasers features and how it can be used.
The KH-7050 is an electrically powered CO2 Laser cutter. With this 60-Watt laser, materials such as thin woods, cardboard, acrylic, cloth, and plastics can be cut. The Laser is also powerful enough to engrave images, text, or anything else desired by the customer on the same or similar materials. Some variations of this laser can also come with a rotary head or chuck that allows the laser to etch on curved surfaces such as bottles or glasses. Here at Perception Engineering, a material we often cut into is quarter inch thick acrylic. The CO2 laser effortlessly cuts through the acrylic leaving a smooth edge all the way around. Etching text onto acrylic is another easy feat for the laser. The text is able to be etched at all sizes, coming out clearly and accurately. Some example laser cut products made here at PE are shown below in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Laser cut/etched products
When Would This Be Used?
Now you might ask, what kinds of jobs can a laser cutter like this take on? Laser cutters, such as this one, can be used on a daily basis doing all kinds of work! Perception Engineering has used its laser for both large and small scale cutting jobs. Customers come to Perception Engineering by cutting jobs that involve single prototype parts, personal projects, and large quantity production. The laser is able to cut out single parts very quickly or programmed to run for multiple hours cutting out very intricate parts or large part loads. The time it takes to run a job does depend on material type and thickness. The thicker or harder the material, the longer it takes to cut. However, with the lasers ability to adjust the bed height up and down, the perfect laser distance can be homed in for the best results. And any job can be trained to run quickly without sacrificing the quality of the parts.
A CO2 laser is a great tool to have for both business and personal use. The list of possible projects that could be completed with this type of laser is too long to put down. With its wide range of maneuverability, power, and speed, its no wonder why this type of laser has been around for so long. A CNC laser is a must-have tool in most shops, and the cost-friendly price makes it easily affordable and the power of the CO2 laser gives it plenty of reliability.