JK 700 series laser cutter, 1986-1996.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Laser beams are used for cutting intricate or complicated components such as circuit boards and cut by heating up the material so quickly that it vaporises. The sheet of metal is cut because the metal in the path of the laser beam has evaporated away. Very fine cuts, sometimes only as wide as a few atoms, can be made in this way. Made by Lumonics Ltd.