Laser Diamond Cutting
DPL Application In Laser Cutting&Sawing
Introduction To Diamond Cutting
Diamonds are the most precious and beloved of all. Before being used as industrial or decorative diamonds, the original rough stones are classified according to their natural properties such as form, size, color, quality, etc., and undergo a series of designs and processes to become the final product.
Although there were germs that changed the design and equipment of diamond processing techniques as early as the early 17th century, ancient processing techniques were still in use until the early 21st century. It was only the advent of a new era in laser technology that the future of the diamond industry was changed and reshaped around the world. Einstein established the theoretical basis of laser technology in 1917, and in 1906 Theodore H. Maiman demonstrated the world's first functional laser, so that lasers were gradually widely used in various industries.
Laser diamond cutting, powered by technologies like the Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser (DPSS) and Neodymium YAG laser, has transformed the diamond cutting industry. This green technology has made the process more precise and efficient, while consumers can assess the quality of a diamond's cut using established criteria to select their desired jewelry. The evolution of diamond cutting techniques continues to shape the market for these precious gemstones.
Lumispot Tech has provided light sources and technical support to many users in the field of laser cut diamonds, and today has compiled a list of the more common questions about laser gemstone cutting.
Can lasers cut diamonds?
Yes, lasers can indeed cut diamonds, and this technology has revolutionized the diamond-cutting industry. Laser diamond cutting offers precision, speed, and reduced waste compared to traditional methods. But how exactly does it work?
How do lasers cut diamonds?
The process of laser diamond cutting involves using a specialized type of laser known as a Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser (DPSS). This laser emits a concentrated beam of light at a specific wavelength, usually in the green part of the spectrum, making it an eco-friendly or "green technology" laser.
The laser beam is focused on the diamond's surface, creating intense heat. This heat causes the diamond to crack along its natural cleavage planes. It's like drawing a dotted line on the diamond and then gently tapping it to make it split cleanly. The laser can precisely cut, shape, and facet diamonds to achieve the desired appearance.
How did they cut diamonds before lasers?/ How were diamond cut before lasers?
Before the era of laser technology, diamond cutting involved a more labor-intensive process. Diamond cutters used other diamonds to cleave, grind, and shape the gemstone. This method required a high level of skill and often resulted in significant diamond wastage.
Traditional diamond cutting, which has been practiced for centuries, involves several precise steps to transform a rough diamond into a beautifully cut and polished gemstone. Here are the traditional steps in diamond cutting:
1.Planning and Cleaving:
Sawing the Rough Diamond: The process begins with the assessment of the rough diamond's shape and inclusions. The cutter determines how to achieve the best yield while minimizing waste. A laser saw or cleaving tools may be used to create a starting point for the cuts.
Round Shape Formation: For round brilliant-cut diamonds, the next step is bruting. The diamond is placed on a spinning lathe, and a second diamond, known as the bruting wheel, grinds a groove around the diamond's girdle to give it a round shape. This step is essential for achieving symmetry.
Facet Placement: Diamond cutters use a rotating cast-iron wheel coated with diamond dust to grind and shape the diamond's facets. The number and arrangement of facets depend on the desired cut, such as the brilliant cut, princess cut, or emerald cut.
Table Facet: The largest facet on top of the diamond, called the table facet, is usually cut first.
Main Crown Facets: After the table facet, the main crown facets are cut, creating a crown (top) for the diamond.
Pavilion Facets: The diamond is then turned over, and the pavilion facets are cut to create the lower part of the diamond.
Girdle Facets: Additional facets are cut at the girdle, which is the diamond's widest part.
Final Facets: The final facets, including the culet (the small facet at the bottom tip of the diamond), are added to complete the design.
Polishing the Diamond: After all facets are cut, the diamond is carefully polished to remove any scratches or imperfections on its surface. This step enhances the diamond's brilliance and clarity.
5. Quality Assessment:
Evaluation: The finished diamond is evaluated for its overall quality, including factors like symmetry, proportion, and the absence of defects. The cutter ensures that the diamond meets industry standards and the desired cut specifications.
6. Final Inspection:
Examination: A final inspection is conducted to check for any remaining imperfections and to verify that the diamond meets the desired cut and quality standards.
Grading and Certification: The diamond may be sent to a gemological laboratory for grading and certification. The certificate provides information about the diamond's cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.
8. Final Preparations:
Laser Inscriptions: Some diamonds receive laser inscriptions on the girdle, which can include a certificate number or other identifying marks.
Challenge In Diamond Cutting & Sawing
Since diamond is a hard and brittle material with high chemical stability, it has been a challenge to perform the cutting process. Traditional chemical cutting processing or physical polishing may cause insurmountable problems, high labor operation costs, and error rates. Traditional mechanical processing and polishing of diamonds is prone to cracks, chips, delamination, and edge breakage. In another aspect, there would be great wear and tear on the diamond-polishing tools. Since there is an extremely high requirement for cutting accuracy, which is calculated at the micron level, this is a very strict test for the diamond-cutting process.
In view of the above problems, laser cutting technology is a new solution, which can cut diamonds at high speed and high quality, and has advantages in cutting hard and brittle materials. Laser cutting has a low thermal impact and is less likely to damage the diamonds during the process. Also, it has lower possibility cause cracks, chipping, ripples, and other defects, ensuring efficient processing. In terms of production efficiency, this method has a fast processing speed, low equipment cost, and less error rate than manual polishing. The highest demands are placed on what is the core component of a diamond-cutting machine: the Laser light source. Lumispot Tech has a CW diode pump module (CW DPL) with a high energy density and a better beam quality, which is a clear advantage compared to other lasers.
What are the advantages of laser diamond cutting compared with the traditional way?
Precision and Accuracy:
Laser cutting allows for extremely precise and accurate cuts, enabling intricate and customized designs with minimal errors. The focused laser beam can create fine details that are challenging to achieve with traditional methods (Dhanak & Badini, 2008).
Laser cutting minimizes diamond wastage as the laser can be carefully directed to maximize the yield from a rough diamond. This reduces the loss of valuable material (Jahanmir, 1999).
Less Risk of Damage:
Laser cutting generates less mechanical stress and vibration compared to traditional cutting methods, reducing the risk of damaging the diamond (De Silva, Das, & Ashby, 2009).
Laser cutting is highly versatile and suitable for a wide range of diamond shapes and styles, including intricate cuts like princess cuts and fancy shapes (Kaplan, 1998).
Laser cutting is considered a "green technology" as it uses minimal resources and generates less waste compared to traditional cutting methods, which involve grinding and sawing (Schuöcker, 2004).
Speed and Efficiency:
Laser cutting is generally faster and more efficient than traditional cutting methods, reducing production time and costs (Duley, 1999).
Laser cutting allows for greater customization and personalization of diamond cuts to meet individual customer preferences and design requirements (Dausinger, Lubatschowski, Schaffer, & Nolte, 2003).
Minimal Heat Affected Zone (HAZ):
Laser cutting produces a very small heat-affected zone, preserving the structural integrity and quality of the diamond (To & Sari, 2007).
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Lumispot Tech offers a customizable service for CW DPL, which can be customized for pumping power, crystal size, and Nd: YAG doping concentration. If there is any other question refer to the CW DPL, please leave a message to us, we’d love to help you with that.