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Journal 19 - An in-house laser cutter? What’s all the fuss?

Before we start and delve into learning a little bit more about the laser cutter we wanted to thank HPC Laser for working with us and helping us fulfil all of our laser cutter dreams here at Mosevic

Let's take it back to the start, as you may or may not already know there are many steps in the process of making handmade frames, some parts require a machine, some require Jack, Karl or Will's fair hands and a few parts of the process we outsource. You may be asking why this is? Well, I’m here to tell you! Some parts of the process require special pieces of equipment or expertise to complete that element, one of these is cutting the lenses to the required size (We send these off to a UK based company), the other is all to do with different parts of the frame. There are a few things that are done currently by a local company to us who specialise in laser cutting, they cut out the pieces and also etch in the writing onto the arms and bridge of the frame. But now thanks to HPC we are able to do this all in the comfort of our workshop.  

This isn’t the only reason we wanted a laser cutter, in order to develop our frames and undertake experiments we really needed the laser cutter to be in house. Meaning that when Jack has a brainwave, he can test out the idea immediately, rather than waiting a few weeks to send his idea off and get it tested out.  

Let's learn a little more about the history of laser cutters and how they came to be.  

A brief history  

The laser cutting machine is something that has been developed over the last century, and in the more recent decades great advancements have taken place with laser cutting technology. Einstein is often a name that crops up when talking about anything to do with physics, and although he was not the creator of laser cutting technology, his research on quantum mechanics was a vital factor that contributed to its evolution. In 1917 he came up with the theory of ‘stimulated emission of radiation’, following this 42 years later Gordon Gould expanded this theory and this was dubbed ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’. Laser for short. The first ever working laser was created by Theodore Maiman in 1960. Many people couldn’t see the use for it at the time, it took 4 more years to find this out, this being in the form of thermal cutting using lasers. Like our frames, the laser cutting evolution has taken various iterations. The original 1960 creation used a synthetic ruby for the laser, in 1964 Kumar invented a gas laser cutter (using a carbon dioxide mixture which was quicker and more cost-effective), later that same year J.E. Geusic invented the crystal laser cutting process.  

There are now more options for laser cutters such as fibre cutters, however the CO2 cutter is still being used to cut or engrave materials such as Acrylic, leather, wood etc...

The laser in practice  

The ruby laser mentioned above used a synthetic ruby, this emitted a red focused laser beam through a nozzle which was intense enough to cut through materials. It's unlikely that these materials were anything like the material laser machines can cut through today, but it showed potential. I’m sure when Theodore Maiman invented the ruby laser he didn’t think we would be using an iteration of his creation to help us make our handmade denim frames!  

We are using the LS3060 Pro Laser in the workshop, and this is a CO2 laser cutting machine. I’m sure you might be wondering how a gas can be used to create cuts? Well, the laser beam is made of a gas mixture which is mainly carbon dioxide that is sealed in a glass tube. A high voltage is sent through the tube which then reacts with the gas particles turning them into light! The strong light created causes an intense heat, meaning any material beneath it is cut.   

When the machine arrived to the workshop a few things had to be set up and adjusted properly before we could test it out. One of these elements were the mirrors inside. The mirrors are used to accurately deflect the beam to the desired direction. The final mirror is located in the head of the laser and therefore the final redirection is vertical through the material being cut (In our case hardened denim). The focusing process increases the light intensity, which results in extremely precise cutting results, exactly what we need for some of our smaller elements of the frames.   

Our wild creations 

We’ve been pretty tame so far with the creations, but we already know that the possibilities are endless. It was pretty clear that when it arrived it had made Jacks week, maybe even his year as he was smiling from ear to ear at the new toy!  

Before I’d even had a chance to put my bag down and say hello to Penvelope Jack was cutting my own engraved acrylic keyring! (Jenny from the marketing team at HPC told me that all their new starters get a keyring so I feel pretty honoured to be part of the gang!) This was quickly followed by a rather fitting jigsaw, made of denim and in the shape of sunglasses. 

We were super lucky that Gareth who delivered the laser cutter made the whole process smooth and efficient! We even got him trying on a pair of our Titan frames! 

The precision, speed and efficiency of the laser cutter is one that is moving with the times, we here at Mosevic can’t wait to use ours to help with our everyday making of the frames, but also testing it out and coming up with new creations using our new laser cutter!  

If you want to check out more about HPC laser why not head to their website or check out our video below of our first day with the laser cutter! 



 Catch you in a few weeks! 



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