Laser cutting is one of the most excellent industrial fabrication methods manufacturers use to create different products out of various materials. They use laser cutters to produce things from simple boxes to graphical engraving details into metal, wood, and other materials. If you are here, you want to learn laser cutting and create functional products with it.

In this brief yet complete guide, our experts will explain the process and how you can learn laser cutting. You will also know which materials are the best for practicing if you want to learn laser cutting systems and how to get access to a laser cutting machine.

If you want to learn laser cutting on sheet metal or pipes specifically, we recommend reading our ultimate guide on metal laser cutting.

To Learn Laser Cutting, You Should Know Laser Cutters

If you want to learn laser cutting systems, you should know the cutting machine. Laser cutters are computer-controlled machines that utilize a laser beam with a high energy level to precisely engrave or cut different materials.

The laser beam is focused and amplified light that causes the metal or wood to burn, vaporize or melt locally. When you learn laser cutting, you should know that the machine you choose depends on the material you want to cut.

There are different types and machines of laser cutting systems that you can use to fabricate metal and wood. However, since CO2 lasers are the best choice if you want to learn laser cutting from beginner to advanced, we mainly focused on this type.

How Does the Laser Cutting Machine Work?

If you want to be a professional metal fabricator, you should know how laser cutting machines work. In CO2 laser cutters, the beam is generated in a tube filled with the gas.

The machine consists of mirrors and lenses that direct the laser beam to the head. Then the beam is focused on the workpiece surface. The laser head is moved by electrically controlled motors to engrave or cut your desired shape into metal or wood.

When the laser beam hits the material’s surface, a small area is heated in a short period, causing the material to vaporize, melt or burn.

Learn Laser Cutting to Do Various Fabrications

Generally, you can do three primary fabrications with a laser cutter after you learn laser cutting, which are:

  • Cutting
  • Engraving
  • Marking

Learn Laser Cutting to Cut Metal or Wood

You can use high-power laser beams to cut through metal or wood. Although you can cut materials with other methods, laser cutters do the job precisely. However, the appearance of the cutting edges mainly depends on the fabric.

One of the best examples of cutting metal with laser cutters is creating decorative metal fences with laser cutting machines.

Laser Cutters Can Engrave Materials

You can learn laser cutting to remove parts of your workpiece’s surface and create beautiful designs or logos on the material. This is called engraving.

Laser Cutting is Also Used for Marking

Marking is another way of using laser cutting machines, and it means changing the color of the materials without removing a piece.

You should apply the marking solution on the surface of the metal, and after it dries, you will have to perform the engraving. The heat from the beam bonds the solution to your metal’s surface and creates a permanent mark.

How to Get Started With Laser Cutting Systems

So you want to learn laser cutting and produce your design? Follow the steps below.

Get Access to a Laser Cutter to Learn Laser Cutting

Most of you think that you need to buy a machine to learn laser cutting. However, this is not true since many other options are available for you. You can look into:

  • Marketspaces
  • Schools, Colleges, Universities
  • Laser Cutting Services

With What Materials You Should Start Learning Laser Cutting Methods?

Most laser cutting machines (mainly CO2) can cut and engrave various materials. However, there are some materials that you cannot fabricate with laser cutting machines since the beam cannot cut through them or generates toxic gases. Additionally, never try to learn laser cutting on flammable materials.

The best material to start laser cutting is aluminum. When you start being good at it, you can try cutting aluminum composite panels.

How to Create a Design for Laser Cutting Application?

Modern laser cutters work similar to printers, and they come with drivers that can convert images from a computer into a format that the machine understands.