Designs, Incorporated burst onto the laser-processing scene in 1993. Founded
by a team of CO2 laser veterans and material scientists looking for a better
way to cut alumina. While there were other people offering machines that cut
metals wood plastics, no one provided a specific turnkey solution for the
thriving electronics fed alumina industry. By forming key alliances, Edi
developed innovative solutions to cutting alumina for industrial applications.
The laser plotter is a mechanical 2D positioning mechanism driven by motors.
The laser is mounted in the back.
Small mirrors are used to guide light from the laser to a particular location
on the material.
The base of the cutting area is made from a honeycomb material to let the
laser light pass through. This has to be replaced periodically.
Laser light may be
used to cut and score a wide variety of materials. With a laser cutting
machine like this, paper and plastic can easily be scored and cut very
precisely. Even plywood up to 1/4" thick can be cut on this small machine.
Larger industrial machines can cut metal as well. Typically the plotting rate
and power of the laser are modulated to select various levels of scoring and
This particular machine process is used primarily to create architectural models out
of plastic. It has a cutting area of 3 feet by 2 feet, but larger machines
have cutting areas of 8 feet by 4 feet. The major components are the gas
tanks, the laser plotter itself, and the controller.
These tanks provide nitrogen gas that is used to limit the burn rate when
flamable materials like paper are being cut.
A program on this PC reads a user's AutoCad DXF file from a floppy disk and
controls the laser cutter. Profiles for the current material being cut are set
by the operator here.
Scoring and multiple cutting layers are indicated by labeling the layers 1S,
2C and 3C in the input DXF file. The lines to be scored are given by the layer
labeled 1S. All scoring is done before cutting is started. The width of the
cuts and scores is approximately 0.009" on this machine.
Any number of cutting
layers are given by layers 2C, 3C, etc. These are cut in numerical order.
Multiple cut passes are needed for parts that have holes in them. First the
holes are cut, then the shape of the piece is cut. This avoids problems that
may occur due to parts shifting after being cut. A sample DXF file is given
here for your perusal.
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leads the industry in CO2 cutting
We are the machining designers.
We know best how to optimize machine parameters.
We set our self apart from
other cutting houses.
- Tighter Tolerances
- Quick Turn-around
- Lower Prices
"EDI worked closely
with the Dumas team
to design a cutting process
that met our
improved overall product quality
and increased our throughput."
President, Dumas Products, Inc.
Precision Cutting, Scribing & Drilling
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Some content on this page excerpted from the article:
The Laser Cutting Machine
By: Paul Haeberli,