Copper

Copper

Copper

The FiberCELL laser system has the capability to process a wide variety of metals, including copper. Copper is a highly reflective metal, making it more difficult for a lower wattage CO2 laser source to penetrate or pierce the material. However, the wavelength of the fiber laser is easily absorbed into the material making it an ideal metal for laser processing.

COMMON APPLICATIONS
Jewelry
Distillery Stills
Electrical Components
Architectural Panels
Drinkware

What Kern laser should I consider?

Mild Steel

Mild Steel

Mild Steel

Kern’s CO2 and fiber metal cutting machines are capable of laser cutting mild steel. A high-pressure air assist injects oxygen through the optics nozzle resulting in a clean and smooth cut. CDA (clean, dry air) can be used on thinner gauge steel to reduce the cost of laser processing.

Mild steel, or cold rolled steel, is one of the more commonly laser-cut materials in the industry. Laser cutting is a flexible, stress-free process that produces quality finished parts with little or no post-processing. Cutting begins when the metal is heated to its melting point, resulting in a clean edge and dross-free cut. Lasers create narrow kerf lines and achieve a highly accurate cut, resulting in minimal material waste.

Laser cutting can be used for a variety of metals, including mild steel. Starting with Kern’s CO2 lasers of 100 to 650 watts, mild steel can be cut at varying thicknesses up to .250″. Fiber lasers are available with up to 3kW’s of power and will process mild steel as thick as .375″.

ALSO KNOWN AS
Mild Steel
Carbon Steel
Cold Rolled Steel
Steel
Low-Carbon Steel

What Kern laser should I consider?

Titanium

Titanium

Titanium

Titanium, known as the “Space Age Metal”, is used in a wide variety of applications due to its high melting point, anti-corrosiveness and light weight. Argon is the assist gas of choice when processing titanium and results in a nice cut edge on Kern’s CO2 and fiber laser systems.

Common Applications
Aerospace
Medical
Knives
Gears
High Temperature
Chlorinator Electrodes
titanium aerospace

What Kern laser should I consider?

Screen Protectors

Screen Protectors

Screen Protectors

Kern’s laser cutters are capable of producing customized screen protectors. Thin plastic film, such as PET, helps adds a layer of protection to the screen on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other tempered glass display screens. CO2 lasers will cleanly cut through the release liner, PET film, top liner and adhesion coating. Specialty films that offer anti-glare, privacy filters, abrasion protection and blue light filtering laser cut beautifully.

Common Materials
PET
Plastic Film
3M Film
PMMA
Device Types
Smartphones
Industrial Screens
GPS/Navigation Displays
Drone Cameras
Tablets
Mobile Phones

What Kern laser should I consider?

Acrylic

ACRYLIC

the most popular material for laser processing

Acrylic

Acrylic is widely known as the most popular material for laser processing because of high achievable processing rates and superior cutting results. Kern’s CO2 laser will allow for a flame polished edge quality with a single pass of the cutting head. Beautiful, white frosty etchings are produced from the laser engraving process.

Using a special lens when cutting thick acrylic results in a straight cut edge with only one pass of the laser beam. Multiple engraving techniques can be used to etch a frosty white mark or a clear and smooth engraved look.

ALSO KNOWN AS
Plexiglass
PMMA
Perspex
Acrylite®
Plaskolite®
Lucite®
Polymethyl Methacrylate
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COMMON USES
Trophies & Awards
Point-of-Purchase Displays
Interior Signage
Magnets
LED Edge Lit Panels
Personal Protection Equipment

Benefits of a Laser System

Use ADVANTAGES
Sharp 90 degree corners
Maximum material use
High-quality engraving
Fire-polished edges
Clean, precise cutting
OptiFlex Cutting Acrylic

Tips and Tricks

Nozzle Size Matters

When acrylic is cut or engraved a foggy appearance may be noticed around the processed area. This is most likely cause by too much concentrated air flow delivered to areas of the acrylic sheet that are still molten. To eliminate or greatly reduce this occurrence try using our wide nozzles. The larger nozzle orifice allows the assist air to be dispersed over a larger area eliminating the foggy appearance.

Tick Marks

Another common complaint we receive from customers is the appearance of tick marks on the back side of acrylic sheet after it has been cut. These tick marks are caused by the laser passing over areas that the acrylic is in contact with the aluminum honeycomb bed. Kern has developed several bed options which will reduce or eliminate these tick marks. Try using our paper honeycomb, rubber/aluminum spacers or acrylic slat table

What Kern laser should I consider?

Awards and Trophies

Awards And Trophies

One of the earliest and best-known laser applications is creating awards and trophies. A large variety of materials will work great for this application, especially acrylic and glass. Acrylic can be laser cut to shape and a flame polished edge quality is easily achievable. Text and images can be laser etched into glass and acrylic leaving a frosty white mark. The flexibility of Kern’s laser allow for creative mixtures of materials to be utilized in any trophy shop it is placed in!

Common Materials
Acrylic
Glass / Crystal
Coated Substrates
Metal
Wood
COMMON APPLICATIONS
Trophies
Awards
Plaques

What Kern laser should I consider?

Education

Education Applications

CUSTOMIZED WHITEBOARDS

Customized whiteboards can be made for a variety of applications. Teachers use them to mark student accomplishments, farmers utilize them to keep track of crop rotations and golf courses use them to keep track of grass mowing cycles.

COMMERCIAL SIGNAGE

Laser cut signs can be found just about everywhere, including schools, museums, commercial buildings and store fronts. There are many different sign making techniques used and Kern’s laser system can improve the manufacturing process. LED etched, channel letters, inlays and paint backfilled are just a few of the signs Kern’s lasers have helped create over the years.

SCALE MODELS

Kern’s CO2 lasers are versatile to the point that they are able to process wood, plastic, metal and many other materials commonly used in production of scale models. A short focal length lens can be installed to allow for a .003″ diameter cutting kerf which is often required for the most intricate of models.

CLOCKS

Laser cut and engraved clocks created with a Kern laser system.

Awards & Trophies

One of the earliest and best-known laser applications is creating awards and trophies. A large variety of materials will work great for this application, especially acrylic and glass. Kern laser systems come complete with the software necessary to produce the most professional looking product possible. It is common to etch a mirrored image of your artwork on the backside of the blank so that your etching shows through to the front side.

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Benefits to using a Kern laser for Educational Materials.

What Kern laser should I consider?

Fabrication

Fabrication

Dashboards

Dashboards in automobiles and aircrafts can be manufactured by means of laser cutting and engraving.

Gaskets

Gaskets for engines and other machines can be manufactured by means of laser cutting and engraving.

FOAM TOOL KITTING

A Kern Laser will help to organize your tools by shadowing them with tool foam. Utilizing tool foam can greatly reduce the amount of time that you spend looking for misplaced tools and increase your manufacturing and workplace efficiency. Cutting tool foam is so easy that we use it for our own laser tool kits that come with each laser system.

THE SIMPLE TOOL FOAM SHADOWING PROCESS:

  1. Use a scanner/lightbox with a camera to import the tool image into your design software.
  2. Utilize the trace feature to create a vector outline of your tool.
  3. Send the cutting file to the laser with Kern’s easy to use Laser Printer Driver.

CONTROL PANELS & ELECTRICAL PANELS

Control panels are used in a variety of places from medical equipment to CNC machinery. Kern’s metal cutting systems are capable of cutting notches, slots and other cut profiles that are often required in control panel manufacturing. For a majority of manufacturers a large kW size laser is not required to process the thin gauge metal that electrical panels are made from. Kern’s economical 250W and 400W lasers are allowing shops of all sizes to bring their metal fabrication in-house.

AUTOMOTIVE PARTS

Grills, motor covers and custom dash kits are just a few of the automobile accessories being produced by Kern Laser Systems.

Benefits of using a Kern laser for Fabrication

What Kern laser should I consider?

Metal Cutting

Metal Cutting

Kern Laser Systems can be equipped with our innovative pulsed laser technology, which allows for accurate cutting of sheet metal. Commonly cut metals include stainless steel, mild steel and aluminum.

The Automatic Focusing Height Follower, developed by Kern Laser Systems, is one of the key elements for optimal metal cutting. The cutting nozzle is controlled by a capacitance sensor and z-axis motor. The gap between the metal being cut and the cutting nozzle can be adjusted until the desired beam focus is obtained. As the cutting process begins, the height follower will track the surface of the metal and adjust the nozzle in the z axis maintaining a constant focus point while the metal is being cut.
The metal cutting table is constructed of durable grid work, which minimizes the surface contact with the bottom of the metal being cut. The slat file that makes up the grid work is saved onto the computer and replacement slats can be cut on the laser system.

Advanced metal cutting features in the KCAM Laser Software allows for complete control of the metal cutting process. A laser dwell delay is available ensuring the laser pierces through the metal before the motion of the cut begins. The nozzle air pressure can be set independently for the laser dwell, normal laser cutting and jog between parts. The laser’s modulation frequency can be set from 500 – 50,000 Hz to achieve a dross free cut, which eliminates the need for a secondary deburring process.

Time Saver

High Pressure assist gas, such as oxygen or nitrogen, is injected through the metal cutting nozzle. The result is a dross free cut edge that requires little to no deburring.

Low Operating Cost

Laser Cutting is a non-contact process that eliminates the high costs of replacement die stamps, machine center re-tooling and router bits.

Intricate Cutting

Kern’s metal cutting machines are capable of cutting thin gauge metal to shape. A bean kerf of only .004” allows for the most intricate designs to be cut.

LABELS, UID, BARCODES AND QR CODES

Lasers are capable of creating permanent and durable label solutions for UID applications. Anodized aluminum and engravers plastic are just two materials that can be etched and then cut into tags. Specialty materials that are resistant to abrasion, heat and outdoor exposure are also popular in outdoor, marine and corrosive environments.

PIPE JOINTS

Pipes can be cut to shape with the help of a Kern’s rotary attachment. CAD programs will automatically create the cut file based on the pipe diameter, size and angle of the joint required.

CONTROL PANELS & ELECTRICAL PANELS

Control panels are used in a variety of places from medical equipment to CNC machinery. Kern’s metal cutting systems are capable of cutting notches, slots and other cut profiles that are often required in control panel manufacturing. For a majority of manufacturers a large kW size laser is not required to process the thin gauge metal that electrical panels are made from. Kern’s economical 250W and 400W lasers are allowing shops of all sizes to bring their metal fabrication in-house.

AUTOMOTIVE PARTS

Grills, motor covers and custom dash kits are just a few of the automobile accessories being produced by Kern Laser Systems.

COMMERCIAL SIGNAGE

Laser cut signs can be found just about everywhere, including schools, museums, commercial buildings and store fronts. There are many different sign making techniques used and Kern’s laser system can improve the manufacturing process. LED etched, channel letters, inlays and paint backfilled are just a few of the signs Kern’s lasers have helped create over the years.

Dashboards

Dashboards in automobiles and aircrafts can be manufactured by means of laser cutting and engraving.

Benefits to using a Laser System

Why buy a Kern laser?

What Kern laser should I consider?

Metals

Metals

Kern Laser Systems cut metal with ease

MILD STEEL / COLD ROLLED STEEL

Kern’s CO2 and fiber metal cutting machines are capable of laser cutting mild steel. A high-pressure air assist injects oxygen through the optics nozzle resulting in a clean and smooth cut.

Mild steel, or cold rolled steel, is one of the more commonly laser-cut materials in the industry. Laser cutting is a flexible, stress-free process that produces quality finished parts with little or no post-processing. Cutting begins when the metal is heated to its melting point, resulting in a clean edge and dross-free cut. Lasers create narrow kerf lines and achieve a highly accurate cut, resulting in minimal material waste.

Laser cutting can be used for a variety of metals, including mild steel. Starting with Kern’s CO2 lasers of 100 to 650 watts, mild steel can be cut at varying thicknesses up to .250″. Fiber lasers are available with up to 3kW’s of power and will process mild steel as thick as .375″.

ALSO KNOWN AS
Carbon Steel
Steel
Cold Rolled Steel
Hot Rolled Steel
COMMON USES
Signage
Sign Letters
Manufactured Parts
Art and Design
Privacy Panels
Brackets
Gears
Covers or Enclosures

STAINLESS STEEL

Kern’s CO2 and fiber laser systems can be equipped with innovative metal cutting technology. The metal cutting option allows for accurate cutting of stainless steel, leaving a clean, dross free edge. Stainless steel up to .090″ can be processed with Kern’s largest 650W CO2 laser. For thicker applications, Kern’s FiberCELL is best utilized with cutting capabilities of up to .1875″ utilizing a 3kW laser.

Kern’s CO2 laser systems are able to etch directly onto the metal surface or leave a durable mark with the assistance of a marking spray such as Cermark.

COMMON USES
Signage
Control Panels
Architecture
Custom Car Parts
Aerospace Parts
Stainless Steel Cut Letters
Tags and Labels

ALUMINUM

Cutting of reflective metals, like aluminum, requires a pulsed laser of at least 250 watts. This allows adequate laser power to pierce through the metal and achieve a nice cut quality. Marking aluminum with a Kern laser system is also possible. A laser marking spray is used to leave a dark, durable mark on the surface of the metal. Cermark and Thermark are two laser marking sprays used on metal.

For more information on Kern’s metal cutting capabilities please visit our CO2 metal cutting page.

COMMON USES
Identification Plates
Chemetal Laminates
Architectural Panels
Signage
Aerospace Parts
Fabricated Parts
Custom Car Parts
Anodized Label Etching

ANODIZED ALUMINUM

Etching of coated aluminum is a simple process that removes the top coat layer exposing the raw metal underneath. Anodized aluminum is an outstanding material used for laser etching. The anodized coating is heated by laser energy and evaporates, requiring little to no cleanup. Anodized aluminum results in a stunning final product. Insulated mugs, cell phone cases and baking pans are a couple of popular items that can be laser etched.

Whether laser cutting or laser etching anodized aluminum, Kern’s lasers are suited for a variety of applications to produce high-quality products.

COMMON USES
Automotive Parts
Identification Plates
Insulated Mugs
Rulers / Measurement
Cell Phone Cases
Photographs
Dog Tags
Spirit Flasks
Flashlights

COPPER

The FiberCELL laser system has the capability to process a wide variety of metals, including copper. Copper is a highly reflective metal, therefore, making it troublesome for a lower wattage CO2 laser source to penetrate or pierce the material. However, the wavelength of the fiber laser is easily absorbed into the material making it an ideal way to process this material.

COMMON USES
Jewelry
Architectural Panels
Electrical Components
Stills

BRASS

Brass is an alloy consisting of zinc and copper. High-power laser beams absorb into the metal, making it possible to cut brass. Laser systems are capable of cutting sheets of brass to a high yield, resulting in reduced material waste and optimal sheet usage. Laser-processing brass allows for clean cutting with air assist, which greatly reduces or eliminates dross.

CO2 lasers below 400 watts have a difficult time cutting this reflective metal. Kern’s 400 and 650 watt metal cutting system can cut most brass alloys up to .040″ and .048″, respectively. The FiberCELL 3kW system can cut up to .125″ brass.

COMMON USES
Architectural Panels
Brass Parts
Jewelry
Arts and Crafts

METALPHOTO

Metalphoto, also known as photo anodized aluminum, can be cut to shape with Kern’s laser equipment. Applications for this material include nameplates, identification labels and equipment panels. The durability of Metalphoto allows it to be placed in environments where heat, abrasion, UV and chemicals may be present. Additionally, the Metalphoto product meets military specifications including MIL-STD-130N for Department of Defense UID data matrix barcode applications. Kern’s 650W metal cutting system is able to cut Metalphoto in thicknesses up to .063″.

Processed sheets of Metalphoto which contain an array of smaller tags can be cut to size accurately and precisely utilizing the k-vision camera system. Simply add registration dots to your artwork and the vision system will automatically adjust the cutting file to compensate for distortion and rotation in the Metalphoto sheet. The result is perfectly cut tags time and time again.

TITANIUM

Titanium has a low density and is a strong lustrous, corrosion-resistant metal. This “space age metal” is used in a variety of industries and can be cut with a Kern metal cutting machine. A dark, consistent etch can be applied to the surface of this metal by using a marking spray or oxygen assist gas.