A laser cutter is a computer controlled machine that uses a laser beam to precisely cut or engrave material. A laser is basically just highly focused, highly amplified light. The laser beam causes the material to locally burn, melt or vaporize. The kind of material that a laser can cut depends on the type of laser and the specific machine’s power.

The term “Laser” is an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Laser technology was developed in the 1960s.

There are different types of laser cutters. This guide will focus on gas lasers and CO2 lasers in particular, as this type is most commonly used by hobbyists and small businesses. Other types are for example fiber or crystal lasers which are mostly used for industrial applications.

CO2 laser cutters are capable of cutting and engraving a wide range of non-metallic materials such as wood, paper, acrylic, textiles, and leather. For more materials and details look here.


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