How Laser Cutting Works

Remember your childhood experiment wherein you mobilised the sun’s rays over a magnifying glass and focused the rays on a piece of paper to set it on fire? Now, can you further imagine a metal sheet worker pinpointing his welding torch over a steel bar to cut it up into several pieces?

The Laser Principle

This is the same principle that applies in laser cutting: high-intensity light (focused sun’s rays and welding torch flame) melting almost anything on its path. Laser, as we know it, is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” It was first introduced in 1960 as a theoretical work and has evolved rapidly into many uses. Among its applications are:

• Laser cutting and welding;
• Laser printing;
• Laser pointers for trainers and speakers;
• Barcode scanning;
• Surgery;
• Law enforcement;
• Engraving;
• Measuring; and
• Entertainment


Laser cutting has many uses, covering both industrial and non-commercial applications. By its particular characteristic of spatial coherence, where a high-intensity light beam is kept undispersed consistently, the cutting process not only of hard objects like steel is amazingly made with utmost precision. We know that it is laser-cut if it is more than razor-sharp.

How Laser Cutting Works

The machine that is used for cutting is called a laser cutter. Using a beam of light coming from a laser resonator, the beam is bounced in different directions through mirrors or benders, each time enhancing its intensity before it is trained and focused towards the metal plate to be cut. This beam is actually a column of high-intensity single wavelength light, usually infrared. As it travels through the cutter’s nozzle, the beam is focused into a fine line using a focusing lens before reaching the end of the nozzle tip where it hits the metal plate.

In this state, the beam hitting the material has such an extreme heat density as to result in rapid heating, melting and vaporising of the material. Due to the fine line of the laser beam and the high intensity of the heat, those actions seem to be happening simultaneously. Any molten material that remains is usually blown away using high-pressure nitrogen.

The Laser Cutting Principle

The principle is focused light penetration. All power is bundled up onto a coherent light ray and focused on a single point, usually less than one-half millimetre in diameter. As soon as the light beam strikes the plate, the surface melts and evaporates due to the focused heat. The beam then begins to pierce into the metal. It penetrates layer by layer or contour by contour until the beam reaches the last layer to complete the cutting.

The Many Uses of Laser Cutting

As simple but extremely amazing as the laser cutting technology looks on the surface, it has actually punctuated the delicate and intricate needs of industries and other areas of living.

Today, laser cutting, together with other useful variations such as engraving, marking, and other applications, is very much popular among small businesses, schools, and hobbyists who see the inherent creative potential of laser cutting technology.

Laser cutting may now be employed for both metal (mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium) and non-metal materials (acrylic, wood, plastics, textiles, glass, leather, ceramics, marbles) and other materials being used by consumers regularly.

Lightning Laser Cutting Technology

The cutting application possibilities for laser are limited only by our imagination. Or otherwise by the availability of professional companies with such capability.

When it comes to laser cutting and marking, Lightning Laser Cutting is the leading technology provider in Australia. Lightning Laser Cutting utilises the most modern and advanced laser equipment available that is suitable for materials such as:

• Mild steel;
• Tool steel;
• Stainless steel;
• Aluminium;
• Timber;
• Plastics;
• Rubber; and
• Leather


We take pride in the capability of our laser cutting technology to expertly do odd shapes, intricate cuts or permanent markings. In fact, our laser cutting equipment can achieve precision cutting to within 0.1 mm or 0.03%!

For your cutting and marking needs, we invite you to check us out on 03 9587 7999 or visit us at 28 Tarnard Drive, Braeside, Victoria, Australia 3195.

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How Laser Cutting Works | Lightning Laser Cutting