While it may sound futuristic, laser cutting has been around since the 1960s! The first use of this technology was to drill holes in diamond dies. Laser cutters are a powerful way to transform a massive variety of materials into intricate shapes or even create beautiful designs. Indeed these lasers are powerful enough to melt, burn, or even outright vaporize materials, even metals. One great company that does incredible laser cutting is Hot Pop Factory. They’ve worked on a number of beautiful projects for high-profile clients including Twitter, Shopify, and Deloitte. Want to learn more? Here’s a brief look into laser cutting for invention makers.
What is Laser Cutting?
This manufacturing process starts with the resonator. Lasing materials stimulated by electrical discharges or lamps bounce off a partial mirror until it has enough energy. To cut a material precisely, the laser needs to focus on a precise location to maximize its cutting power. Thus, within the cutting head is a special or a curved lens for a circular, consistent and concentrated beam of energy on a single point through a nozzle until it finally reaches the plate. When it comes to laser cutting for invention makers, keep in mind the distance between the plate and nozzle is crucial because it determines the focal point. In fact, changing the focal point will ultimately alter the quality of the cut.
Types of Laser Cutting
Materials are cut using CNC (computer numerical control). Below are the three major types of laser cutting.
- Fusion cutting: Once the material reaches its melting point, an inert gas, usually nitrogen, blows molten material out of the kerf leaving the desired remainder.
- Flame cutting: Oxygen blown into the kerf at high pressure creates an exothermic reaction with the molten material.
- Remote cutting: The material evaporates (ablates) without the need of any additional gasses thanks to an extremely high-powered beam.
MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.