HOW IT WORKS
What is laser cutting?
It is the process of precisely cutting or engraving material using a focused high-powered laser beam.
What can it do?
There are three separate techniques that can be used with CO2 laser machines, like those that we have at Flux
Vector cutting, the most common application, a full cut through the material following the vector line.
Vector Engraving is a surface level cut onto the material, following the vector line, creating an outline or ‘drawing’ onto the surface, this is good for adding details to your designs
Raster Engraving, an infill engrave of a sealed vector shape, where the laser works like an inkjet printer moving from side to side, turning the laser on and off very quickly and slowly moving the line up, the distance between these lines is called the scan-gap and this can be varied from 0.001mm through to several mm depending on the design and desired effect
CO2 lasers can cut through a variety of materials, ranging from very thin paper and textiles, through to Plywoods, MDF and upto 10mm Acrylic.
Speaking for machines like ours: they cannot cut through metals, even very thin metal or hard materials like stone or glass, but they can mark and engrave into them. The laser also cannot cut or engrave into any material containing Chlorine, ie: PVC, Vinyl, fake or PU leather and some coated patent leathers, as when cut or engraved, the vaporised material releases deadly Chlorine gas, which turns to hydrochloric acid when mixed with water vapour in the air, causing great damage to the machinery (and our lungs!)