Lasers are very important for modern technology and there are so many different ways that lasers are used. Lasers can be used to help with communication and printing and there are even practical medical applications for lasers.
You’re likely familiar with lasers at this point and understand how prevalent they are in society. You might even own a laser pointer of some kind that you use for presentations or simply to highlight important things.
As neat as these devices are, you might be wondering whether lasers can do some of the cool things that you see in movies.
Everyone has seen films where lasers are used to cut glass in order to steal some priceless jewel or to infiltrate an enemy base. These films might be fascinating but they might leave you with questions.
Can You Laser Cut Glass?
Whether you’re wondering out of pure curiosity or you want to be able to cut glass for a practical reason, you should know that lasers can indeed cut glass. Typical lasers that you might have access to will be capable of etching glass in order to make designs.
People do that all the time in order to create special designs on glasses, plates, or other objects. If you’re thinking about completely cutting through a pane of glass, then that is possible too if you have a strong enough laser.
With a strong enough laser, it would certainly be possible to cut through glass. Can you cut glass with the laser? Yes, but it might not be as easy as you’re thinking.
Depending on the thickness of the glass, being able to cut through it with a laser might not be an easy task.
Lasers can be used to cut glass for a number of different reasons. It isn’t going to be as smooth and easy as you may have seen in a spy movie or something else that is similar.
Regardless, it should be interesting to know that this is indeed possible.
Is There A Cutting Laser Pointer?
Another common thing that people ask about is whether or not there is such a thing as a cutting laser pointer. Laser pointers are very handy and many people love keeping them around.
They have several uses and you might even own more than one of them. If there was a laser pointer that was capable of cutting glass or cutting other things, that would be a very handy tool.
There actually are laser pointers that can cut but they aren’t incredibly common and you aren’t going to be able to buy them at a department store. As you might expect, these types of tools can be potentially dangerous.
These lasers are highly concentrated and are multiple times more powerful than the typical laser pointers that you make use of regularly. People do sell cutting laser pointer products that can cut through paper but you likely won’t find ones that can cut through thick glass.
Some laser pointers can even ignite a match due to the heat that they’re capable of producing. They might be able to help you start fires under the right conditions.
You can see how this might be useful but it’s also easy to understand why they aren’t readily available at traditional stores. Even so, it’s interesting to know that it’s possible to make a laser pointer that is capable of this.
Can You Cut Stained Glass With a Laser?
Are you planning on doing a stained glass project?
Then you’ll want to know if you can use a laser for cutting it.
The truth is, stained glass is not much different than regular glass.
What we’ve mentioned about glass and lasers can also apply to stained glass.
That being said, there are some exceptions.
If you’re working with thick stained glass, you’ll need a laser somewhere near 40W for etching a design.
If you want to cut through it, only the most powerful laser, like a 100W, will do the job accurately and smoothly.
Not to mention, there’s also some stained glass that is rougher than others. These make it difficult to cut sharp curves even with a laser.
So, to make things easier, use stained glass that’s thin and smooth.
Check out this video showing you how to make an awesome stained glass window
Can A CO2 Laser Cut Glass?
The simple answer: YES!
However, the CO2 laser has a lot of limitations.
For one, the glass thickness should be around .0012 to .0236 inches. Anything over that will only see a few scratches.
Another thing is that it works best for glass substrates.
Of course, you can use other glass (as long as it fits the thickness level), but it won’t have the best cut.
Also, the CO2 laser isn’t the best for irregular shapes. You’ll have a hard time maneuvering it across the glass panel.
Still, it’s one of the most affordable laser machines in the markets today.
And, it does the job – if you stick to its requirements.
Now that you’ve seen what laser pointers are capable of, you likely have a deeper appreciation for them. Laser pointers have the potential to do much more than simply highlight points of interest.
In the future, it’s possible that laser pointers might be used for more intricate tasks than they are commonly used for now. Technology continues to develop and lasers will continue to play important roles.