A Quick Look At How Many Laser-Based Machines Function

A Quick Look At How Many Laser-Based Machines Function

Affordable laser-based machines are now found in many places of business and even hobbyists' homes. The vast majority of these devices include laser tubes that are responsible for producing the characteristic effect. This reliable, cost-effective way of enabling the phenomenon known as lasing is also fairly simple to understand.

A Single Part That Does All of the Most Important Work

Whereas a laser engraver or cutting machine could still be useful, even if less so, if it lacked particular attachments or digital interfaces, no such device can provide any functionality at all in the absence of an appropriate tube. Whether with a 100 watt cnc tube cutter or one of much lesser or greater power, the same basic process must happen in order for a beam to be emitted.

To begin with, electricity is used to directly excite one of several gases that will be kept contained within the tube. In most cases, the gas that plays this role will be nitrogen, as it does a suitable job of maintaining excitation without giving up energy in the form of photons.

The energized motion of the molecules of this gas will then excite others nearby of a different kind. In most laser machines on the market today, the target of this secondary effect is carbon dioxide, a gas that is much less stable than nitrogen once excited.

As a result of that instability, the carbon dioxide molecules will begin to emit photons, dropping to correspondingly lower levels of energy when they do. Most of those photons will bounce back and forth within the tube between mirrors placed at the two ends, with a few of sufficiently high energy escaping in coordinated fashion through a carefully placed port.

The laser light that emerges can then be focused and directed as desired. If it is of sufficiently high energy, the resulting beam can be used to cut even thick pieces of metal.

Many Options to Look Into

While some laser machines will only accept a single type of tube, that is by no means the norm. In fact, owners of laser engravers and cutting devices will normally be able to choose from among at least a few options when the time arrives to replace or upgrade a tube.

Fitting a 150w laser tube to a machine that formerly housed a less powerful one, however, could require also seeing to corresponding upgrades to its power supply or other components. Because laser tube prices tend to climb as power rating ratings do, a larger investment will often need to be made for that reason, too.