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Photo courtesy BITO USA

Term of the Week: Galvanometric Laser

Each week Printwear turns to industry experts to learn more about the terms used in the apparel and apparel decoration industry, as well as the business realm. Contact Printwear's digital content editor, Alexandria Arroyo, if you're interested in the opportunity to be featured. 

A galvanometric laser is a type used in laser bridge units that are built over multi-head embroidery machines and some standalone lasers. It is one of the newer technologies and is considered faster and more powerful than plotter lasers.

Pictured above is an example of a galvanometric laser used in an embroidery laser bridge machine. This technology can be used for appliqué production as well as etching and engraving on a wide range of promotional products.

The technology is based on moving mirrors. Small adjustments in fixed-mounted mirrors move the stationary laser beam in different directions to a specified cutting area. It sprays a beam-like a mist and can be used for cutting any fabric, leather, wood, paper, anodized aluminum, non-toxic polymers, and acrylic glass.

This makes it a versatile machine in that it can be used not only for speeding up the production of appliqué work, but also for cutting, etching, and marking a wide range of promotional products.

You must match the wattage of your laser to what you are cutting. The denser the material you want to cut, the higher the wattage must be. Galvanometric lasers start at 25 watts and go up to 200 watts of power. Also, the higher the power, the faster it cuts. 

While you are able to cut leather with a 50-watt laser, it may require slowing down the laser so much it is no longer productive. A higher power will allow faster cutting. To increase the processing area of a galvanometric laser, attachments may be used such as tables and rollers. 

Source: Ed Balady