These days, modern technology is infiltrating into nearly every human activity involving detailed work. The time when producing a completed statue or engraving involved dozens of man-hours at the workbench with chisels, drills, and machine engraving tools is giving way to the use of affordable laser machines to do much of this work. Whether one is a hobbyist crafting finely detailed models or a businessman wanting to have a prototype or a special promotional giveaway, laser cutters have transformed these tasks in fundamental ways.
Both hobbyists and professionals benefit from laser cutting machines for model making. The hobbyist using a laser can produce sculpted models out of wood, stone or high grade resin plastic off a 3D CAD file. Wood cutting and engraving in wood and metal also is made far easier through lasers, yielding a finished design with a far greater degree of accuracy than possible using hand tools and the human eye when using a computer-driven apparatus. For the professional application, architects can create scale models far more quickly using lasers to produce component parts to be assembled into the finished display. Engineers can run up a complete three-dimensional mockup of a machine part for evaluation and presentation.
Laser cutters and engravers can be used on a variety of materials. These include acrylics, wood, fabrics, glass, paper and cardboard, foam, a wide range of plastic materials, and material veneers. The amount of dwell time a laser beam requires to complete a cut depends upon the power level, of course. Lasers in the 50 to 60 watt range are ideal in terms of speed and cutting power for various material thicknesses. Units such as these, however, are complex and require some expertise to work and maintain. They are also the more expensive, as one can expect. For hobbyists and even many small businessmen, a simpler 40W laser cutting unit is more than adequate for the job and will still enable the user to complete a project far faster than one worked with traditional hand tools. The determining factor in choosing a laser is what the user will need. Usually, persons shopping for a cutting laser will be able to find a unit perfectly suited to their purposes and budget.