This is the content for Hive76's introduction class to laser cutting.
In this class we will cover the following:
Laser basicsOur laser cutter uses a 45W CO2 glass laser tube. The laser works by exciting CO2 atoms that release infrared light a.k.a. heat. These Infrared photons bounce back and forth inside the laser tube between two mirrors. Once they get to a specific power level, they exit through one mirror, travel through a series of mirrors, and are focused to a point. See the laser diagram on the right.
This laser energy is put to use by focusing all 45W of this infrared heat into a single point. This heat is used to vaporize your material as quickly as possible and exhaust fans are used to pull the material out of the environment. problems with laser cutting arise when the material absorbs this heat too slowly. Then the material will melt or burn instead of vaporizing.