Lasers

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Lasers

A brief look at the technology behind our service.

Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

The first laser was invented in the early 1960’s and was described as a “solution looking for a problem”. The laser beam was created by flashing a high intensity light at an aluminium coated Ruby (ruby was standard material to use then). Scientists were sceptical at first and the major journals were reluctant to publish the results; eventually however the test was accepted and lasers were born.

The first industrial use for a laser was in the cutting of acrylic for sign work (acrylic is the only material that vaporises when laser cut so it’s an easy material to process). In around 1968 a very clever person at the Welding Institute in the UK had the great idea to add an assist gas to the laser process and this allowed metal to be laser cut – the laser melted the metal and the gas forced the molten material away from the cut zone thereby creating a cut part.

Since those early days many different types of laser have been created; there are lasers for cutting, engraving, ablation, tattoo removal, eye surgery, music cd’s, cancer removal, distance measuring (one of the more interesting uses for that first laser was measuring the distance of the moon to the Earth by pointing the laser at a reflector left by the Apollo mission). The list really does go on and it’s all about the medium that’s used to generate the laser beam – we always say you could create a laser from a banana, it’s just we haven’t found a use for it yet!

Nowadays our laser cutting and laser engraving machines are state of the art “turnkey” systems – install them and they’re ready to start producing. The clever part for us is pushing the boundaries of the capabilities of the machines to offer a service second to none.