Laser cutting? Can you cut it? Probably.

The process of laser cutting is probably one of the most flexible manufacturing processes available in modern engineering.

An image of laser cutting in action - image courtesy of GF Laser
An image of laser cutting in action – image courtesy of GF Laser.

The ability to cut almost anything that can be drawn has led to laser cutting being used for almost any purpose.

Specialist provider of precision laser cutting, GF Laser, lists five of the strangest things that it has been asked to cut:

Corpus Clock

The slits on the face of the corpus clock https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Clock were laser cut using a five axis laser cutting machine.

The Corpus Clock is a large sculptural clock at street level on the outside of the Taylor Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University.

The clock, which was unveiled by Stephen Hawking, has been featured in films and features a strange fabricated metal insect which has been likened to a locust.

Laser cut spinnings

The art of metal spinning https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_spinning coupled with laser cutting has led to some really interesting creations over the years. Metal spinning is a little known manufacturing service that by which a metal disc is rotated (spun) at high speed and formed into an axially symmetric component. We’ve been asked to cut names, animal shapes and even the American flag into spinnings.

Pizza maker

We were approached by a manufacturer to laser cut some pressed metal for renowned artist Damien Hirst. We were looking forward to cutting some weird and wonderful designs but it turned out to be a specialist pizza maker that Mr Hirst was involved in. We never did find out whether it made it to market.

Laser cut, not shaken or stirred!

We were asked to laser cut some placeholders for a James Bond themed evening, each placeholder had to be individually programmed with a different number for each table. The placeholder took the form of the distinctive James Bond Gun and was cut in mild steel material and then powder coated by the customer.

Spiderman

At a recent manufacturing show you would have thought the biggest stir would have been caused by the latest 3D printer or perhaps the largest laser cutting machine. Well, it wasn’t! Instead everybody wanted to get their hands on a laser cut and engraved Spiderman. Unfortunately the stainless steel representation of Spiderman wasn’t for sale because the manufacturer didn’t want to breach any copyright laws!