Glossary of laser cutting terms - M. From Tesko Laser, providing laser cutting and metal fabricating services. Tesko Laser Division - photos
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Glossary of laser cutting terms - M


Machine-Readable Code

Special machine programming language code designed for industrial machines to carry out unique and repeatable commands accurately and quickly. See G Code.

Material Thickness

One of the primary considerations is laser size. This depends on the materials to be cut, and their thickness. Basically, the thicker the material, the higher the KW rating needed for a laser to achieve a satisfactory cutting rate.

Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE)

The level of laser radiation to which a person may be exposed without hazardous effects or adverse biological changes in the eye or skin. See Nominal Hazard Zone.

Maximum Sheet Thickness

The maximum thickness (in mm or inches) that a particular laser will cut for a specific material. The maximum cutting limit for a particular material.

Melt Shearing

A laser cutting process which produces a melt that is blown out of the melt zone by a gas jet, which is usually air. The cut edge that is the result of this cutting process is of good quality but covered in microscopic ripples. It is also referred to as “fusion cutting."

Melting Point

The temperature at which the material melts. Materials with high melting points must be laser cut more slowly because more energy is required to melt them. Ceramics and some metals have high melting points.



A "MY-kro' mee-ter" is a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter, or one micron.

Mild and Carbon Steels

Steels that are almost totally iron (99%+). Both are easily cut by laser cutting using a combination of melt shearing and a chemical reaction with a cutting gas jet, usually oxygen.

Mode Locked

A method of producing laser pulses in which short pulses (approximately 10-12 second) are produced and emitted in bursts or a continuous train.


A light that consists of only one wavelength. An industrial laser beam consists of a very narrow band of wavelengths around a central wavelength.

Moving Optics Laser

A laser which uses moving mirrors to reflect the laser beam to the cutting head while the workpiece material remains stationary.

Moving Workpiece Laser

A laser which has a stationary cutting head and where the workpiece moves to produce the desired cutting.

Multi-Axis Laser Cutting

A type of laser cutting using multiple axes instead of one. Their advantage is the ability to cut three-dimensional shapes. However, multi-axis cutting is more expensive than flat bed cutting, is slower to set up, and introduces more complex safety hazards.

Multi-Axis Machining

The ability to machine materials from multiple axes instead on one or two typically coordinated utilizing the latest CAD/CAM hardware and software. Multi-axis machining provides fast and high precision machining for the tightest tolerances and most complex jobs.


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