The adaptability of laser beam machining allows them to perform more than one function, and the wide range of industries that often use laser beam machining technology includes automakers and jewelers.
Depending on the function required, industries utilize CO2 or YAG tools for laser beam machining, and computer numerical control (CNC) instrumentation relays desired tasks to the laser. Manufacturers design each tool in sizes ranging from tabletop models to free standing room-sized machines. Small business owners and large industrial factories both use laser beam machining on materials ranging from cardboard, cork, and wood to steel, steel alloys, and stone.
Industrial manufacturing applications of laser beam machining include cutting or welding metals in aircraft, automotive, and shipbuilding factories. Jewelers also use laser welding on delicate pieces of jewelry, and machinists use laser beam machining to resurface corroded parts by fusing material to damaged areas. Laser beams perform intricate cuts in plastic[plastic?:Plastic sample cutting machine] and metal sheeting for components installed in household electronics or machinery. Functioning similarly to an ink jet printer, laser beam machining is also used to engrave glass, plastic, and stone.