A 4 kW fibre laser capable of cutting through copper, brass or titanium has been created by optoelectronics brand JDSU.
The company, best known for its optical transceivers and optoelectronics-based network testing equipment, collaborated with machine tools manufacturer Amada on the project.
Development was based on the need for an alternative to carbon dioxide lasers and their solid-state counterparts.
With fibre lasers, however, JDSU says that an effective beam focus can be achieved over long working distances.
Maintenance costs are lower, while the physical footprint of the device is also reduced.
However, it is the strength of the laser that is arguably one of its most significant features.
At 4 kW, the laser can cut through materials that CO2 alternatives cannot, JDSU says, while even thin sheets of steel will be cut up to three times faster.
JDSU adds: "According to Amada, the new system will provide the fastest linear cutting speed available worldwide."