There were watches at the beginning
Laser technology in jewelry was already used in the 1970s for the production of ruby bearings in watches. In a short time, lasers were also used in cutting and combining high-precision elements of high-end watches. Also, sapphire glass watches can be processed with CO2 lasers – while maintaining high working speed and minimal material losses.
Source: COSMO LASER
Advantages of CNC technology
Soon the lasers were also appreciated by other representatives of the jewelry industry. They are used, among others in precise micromachining processes of precious crystals, gold or silver. High precision, minimal thermal influence and non-contact of the processing mak laser technology nowadays open up to new possibilities in the production of jewelry – regardless of the complexity of the shape.
Laser cutting allows for easy automation of jewelry processing. Automation applies:
- Prototype and single product manufacturing processes.
- Low-series production.
- High-volume production.
High precision combined with a small diameter of the laser beam allows the production of complex shapes even for very small components.
What’s more, the use of laser radiation means that there is no need to perform additional operations after the cutting process. For example – grinding, honing or other types of finishing. The laser technology enables machining almost all metal alloys. It including brass, bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, gold, and even glass. The thickness of the element can range from a few micrometers (thin foils) to a few millimeters, depending on the laser used. Due to the use of computer programs to support the design, any shape or contour can be prepared in a few minutes. It also almost immediately transferred to the material.
The precision of laser machining makes repairing and joining components even easier to perform. Instead of using expensive terminals, the elements are placed in a special chamber and then appropriately positioned. It based on the image from the microscope. Then the laser creates a point weld – even where it is not possible with traditional technologies. Overmore, it does not require the use of additional materials to create a joint. The connection is durable and there is no need for additional post-processing.
Undoubtedly, the most popular application of engraving in jewelry is the creation of inscriptions on wedding rings. This applies both to the inside and outside of the ring. The use of laser technology allows marking of elements in places inaccessible to traditional techniques without the need for additional tools. The ease of designing a pattern or inscription, size control, repeatability, efficiency and process speed are the features that make laser marking an increasingly popular option among jewelry manufacturers. An additional advantage of the laser in relation to other solutions is:
- The possibility of engraving regardless of the shape of the element.
- The application of hand-written text always with the same high accuracy.
A fiber laser is an excellent laser engraver for metals, but it is very expensive. This multi-diode system requires a precise driver for the laser.