Patent Number: 6,294,757

Title: Laser-assisted cutting method

Abstract: The present invention provides a method for cutting wood or other materialsby separating the material along a line of controlled failure through theapplication of mechanical force in combination with laser light to breakmolecular bonds holding the material together along the line of controlledfailure. The method includes the use of a generally broad wedge-shapedblade having planar lower and upper surfaces which converge toward eachother to terminate along a leading edge. The blade is generally hollowwith a cavity for passing optical fibers carrying laser light to atransparent window attached to the leading edge of the blade. Laser lightpasses through the window and is directed to a line of controlled failurein the material being cut to break the molecular bonds and locally weakenthe material while mechanical force is applied to the blade to separatethe material and advance the line of controlled failure into the materialthereby separating a slice of the material.

Inventors: Whittenbury; Clive G. (Yuba City, CA)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 09/25/2013