Here Are the Different Types of Laser Cutting Equipment and How They Work

Laser cutting technology has evolved over the years since the advent of the first laser cutting machine in 1965. These days, laser cutters are used in many different industries for cutting a variety of materials. Currently, there are three main types of lasers used for cutting and engraving, all of which are also used for welding. Here’s what you need to know about these types of laser cutters.

Types of Laser Cutters


First, CO2 laser cutters are used to engrave, bore, and cut through different materials. The second type, Neodymium (Nd) lasers, are used in applications requiring low repetition and a high-energy output. Nd lasers are often used for boring. The third type is called Neodymium Yttrium-Aluminium-Garnet (Nd-YAG) lasers. This laser shares the same style as the Nd laser, but the Nd-YAG is typically used for engraving and boring in applications requiring high power.

Differences Between These Types


CO2 laser cutters are utilized in industrial cutting applications and can cut wood, glass, leather, wax, paper, mild steel, plastics, acrylic, and certain types of fabrics. These lasers are based on electricity-stimulated carbon dioxide gas mixtures. The most commonly used type of CO2 lasers operate using the radio frequency (RF) method. Nd and Nd-YAG lasers, on the other hand, are crystal lasers mainly used to cut ceramics and metals due to their higher power levels. These lasers operate using diodes and contain costly parts that require replacements following 8,000 to 15,000 hours of operation.

Laser cutting has ultimately helped reduce human labor through the use of computer-controlled equipment. There is no manual work required in the operation of these machines which makes them safer and helps eliminate the factor of human error from the laser cutting process.

Depending on the application, CO2 lasers may be the ideal choice for installation, while other applications will benefit from high-powered Nd or Nd-YAG lasers. Regardless of what you’re looking for, there are plenty of innovative options available.

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