Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists, and artists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser most commonly through optics. The laser optics and CNC (computer numerical control) are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated. A typical commercial laser for cutting materials involved a motion control system to follow a CNC or G-code of the pattern to be cut onto the material. The focused laser beam is directed at the material, which then either melts, burns, vaporizes away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials.
Many of the control systems used in laser cutting are nearly identical to control systems used in 3d printers, such as servos, stepper motors, and modular heads. This process can make the cutting of plastics, wood, and even metal a whole new world for creatives. Much of the software can work in any medium, so these technologies are part of a new makers ecosystem.
I hope to take my art, some of which I have below, and use these same tools to produce new works with a 3 dimensional aspect I can’t reproduce with my drawing tools. I have a tevo Tornado printer, and have recently completed a course on laser cutting here in LA. I will display my efforts here as soon as I have some tangible results.