Laser Cutting: A Century of Development


The development of laser cutting technology revolutionised industrial manufacturing processes, enabling engineers to realise ever-more complex product and component designs. Here we look at some of the key developments that have led to the high-precision, high-tolerance laser cutting machines used today by Partwell Group.

  • Though he wasn't aware of it at the time, it was Albert Einstein in 1917 who began the development of laser cutting when he proposed the most important part of the process: the laser. Though it is now a standardised word in the English language, 'laser' is actually an acronym which stands for 'Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation'
  • As with so many other ideas that were ahead of their time, Einstein's theory of the laser took several years to be embraced by the scientific community. Not until more than three decades later did scientists including Townes, Basov and Prokhorov re-examine and begin to develop Einstein's theory, demonstrating it practically using microwaves
  • Another decade after this demonstration, the very first working prototype of a laser was revealed after having been created and refined by Theodore Maiman. The laser used synthetic ruby, producing an intense beam of red light. Military range finders were the first practical use to which the new technology was put
  • Four years later in 1964, industrial research and scientific development organisation Bell Labs perfected both carbon dioxide and crystal lasers, both of which had the ability to cut materials. Bell Labs is now owned by mobile giant Nokia
  • 3D laser cutting became a possibility in 1979, when Italian company Prima Industrie revealed a technique that used a rotational system with no less than five different axes

Laser cutting techniques and processes continued to be further developed and today Partwell Plastic Engineering utilise the most modern laser cutting machinery in our work. To find out more about the capabilities of our purpose-built laser cutting machinery, please visit the dedicated page of our website.

5th July 2019, 13:22