10 Brilliant Laser Applications

Laser engraving stone slate

How many times do your friends use the Doctor Evil voice when talking about “lasers”? It seems you can’t bring it up without someone relating it to Austin Power’s movie quotes. While Dr. Evil had evil intentions for his laser technology, it has practical and functional uses in the real world, here on Earth.

The following will discuss 10 not-so-evil laser applications.

 

Wood

Wood engraving is a centuries-old craft. It was performed by highly-skilled craftsmen and hand tools. Today, anyone with a little tech knowledge can engrave beautiful crafts using a laser system.

Plastic

Plastic is a most common laser engraving application. Words, names, numbers, barcodes, and other such text are imprinted on plastic.

Crystal & Glass

Glass etching used to require a sandblaster and a craftsman with a steady hand and mad skills. Nowadays, instead of being a manual process, you can program your laser machine to etch on glass or crystal without all that work. Not only is this process more efficient and precise today, it’s more cost-effective.

Gold

Gold, while one of the most precious and valuable of metals is hard to work with because of its malleability. Experienced jewelers that regularly engrave on gold take many precautions to avoid damaging the gold and decreasing its value. Laser technology allows them to perform this task with the highest precision and accuracy while keeping material loss down to a minimum.

Aluminum

Aluminum is another popular material used for laser engraving. Jewelry, smartphone cases, and mementos made from aluminum can be engraved using laser systems. That’s where all those intricate designs and details come from on phone cases and covers.

Slate & Stone

Chisels and hammers were used to engrave on stone and slabs of rock way back in the day. Sometimes, the stone craftsmen had to start over with another slab because the rock cracked. Laser technology took these problems out of the engraving process. Modern laser systems can be programed to engrave on various types of slate and stone.

Anodized Metal

Anodized metal is a very hard surface upon which to etch. It’s designed to resist mechanical force and corrosion through treatments to make it durable and long-lasting. Laser technology can be programed to etch on this tough metal without compromising its traits that make it so durable.

Metal

Metal is a dense substance that requires more force to engrave. However, you can’t tell the difference between what is engraved on a dense plastic and metal items. Names, barcodes, words, and other text are engraved on metal just like plastic, only at a higher power level.

Engineering and Tools

Engraving on engineering instruments and tools must be precise and accurate. Their very purpose for measuring and precision dictates that fact. Laser engraving is the most accurate and precise method for engraving on tools without affecting the implement’s integrity.

Electronic Components

Computer motherboards and chips are beyond fragile components. Just a miniscule scratch will affect whether these components work or not. A tiny mistake renders these components useless. The refined process of laser technology etches on electronic components of all types with exact accuracy and precision without compromising the component.

 

Article crafted by Needham Coding

25 Things you didn’t know about Laser Technology

lasers

Laser cutting (engraving) has been in use for about 50 years. This technology has given businesses that use engraving, personalization, design, wood cutting, etching, and other like industries a faster, more efficient, precise, and easier way to manufacture handmade products and to mark products.

Laser engraving and cutting technology is used for a multitude of tasks in a wide range of industries. Here are some interesting facts about laser technology, lasers, and laser engraving/cutting machines (which can be found on Selected Best).

  1. The word laser isn’t just something some person made up. It’s an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”.
  2. Laser history can be tracked back to Einstein’s theory of light emission from 1916.
  3. Laser technology was born at Bell Labs in 1959.
  4. The term “a laser” is incorrectly used. There are several types of lasers used for various applications and purposes. Essentially they all work the same, but they differ in features and other attributes.
  5. Maser technology preceded laser technology. Maser is short for “microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. This technology was also created using Einstein’s theory and was used in atomic clocks.
  6. The earliest versions of laser technology were used to engrave wood and in 1965, the first laser cutter was used to drill holes in diamonds.
  7. Laser measuring is extremely precise and is accurate within a nanometer (a billionth of a meter).
  8. The world’s most powerful laser contains the power of a hydrogen bomb.
  9. Gillettes is not just a razor blade, but the unit upon which early lasers were measured for strength. The reason it named the measurement units in Gillettes is that it counted the number of razor blades the laser beam could cut through.
  10. The breathalyzer medical device uses laser technology to detect diabetes and cancer.
  11. The light beams of lasers are more parallel than any type of light source. Every part of each beam has the identical direction, which means the chance of divergence is low.
  12. You have probably seen laser tools in home improvement stores.
  13. During the Apollo 11 space mission, astronauts measured the distance between the moon and the earth. The readings were accurate within a mere finger’s width.
  14. Supermarket barcode scanners use laser technology and were used commercially for the first time in 1974.
  15. Laser engraving technology is used on a wide range of materials to create beautiful artwork and to personalize jewelry.
  16. The same kind of lasers used for engraving are also used in hair removal and for killing tumors.
  17. When you use a fingerprint scanner at work or in law enforcement offices, you are being scanned by a laser beam. Nowadays, these fingerprints are stored in large databases.
  18. Lasers are categorized into different classes according to the level of danger they pose. The range is one through five. Five is so dangerous that it can burn skin or cause permanent blindness.
  19. Laser tag, considered a fun thing to do among friends and family, was first used in the 1970s to train US Army troops as a non-lethal training program.
  20. Lasers are used in dentistry for quick and virtually painless cavity removal.
  21. Studies are being done to show that broken bones can now be healed faster using highly focused laser beams. This has not been introduced to the general public or for standard medical treatments.
  22. A tiny laser beam is powerful enough to etch the serial number on a diamond, considered the hardest natural substance known to man.
  23. Laser marking has become a popular industry that continues to grow. The use of lasers in this case is for the permanent marking of plastic, leather, metal, and other materials.
  24. Some industries that use laser marking include automotive, medical, diamond, personalization, and product marking,
  25. Today’s laser machines can be programmed for engraving and cutting using software designed to work with the technology.

These are just a few interesting facts about laser engraving technology that most people don’t know about. How many did you know?


This article was supplied by Erryn Deane from Needham Coding.