The Rofin manual welding system from Laser Resources is helping innovative jewellery designers create intricate designs by combining traditional craftsmanship with advanced laser welding technology.
Though jewellery design has always been associated with traditional skills, a new breed of jewellery designers and goldsmiths is combining age-old workmanship with the latest laser welding technology to produce intricate and eye catching items that would otherwise be impossible or completely impractical to produce using any other joining process.
David Poston, for instance used the Rofin manual welding system from Laser Resources to produce a gold bracelet featuring a unique design. Measuring 100mm x 70mm x 35mm, the bracelet appears to be manufactured from solid gold but is actually produced from very thin sheets of 18-carat gold fused together to create a finished item weighing a mere four ounces.
Using the microscope on the Rofin manual welding system, David was easily able to join the handheld parts within the light-proof work chamber. Heat input to the piece is minimised as the focused laser beam is only about 0.3mm in diameter.
Laser welding in jewellery design offers several advantages. Laser welded joints are three times stronger than soldered joints. In addition to being a lightweight solution, laser welding does not anneal the surrounding metal, allowing the metal to retain its maximum rigidity and the finished product to look like solid gold.