Initially, the glass sheets were cut to various sizes by hand using hand-held diamond glass cutter. Flat float glasses were cut in this way, but this technique was also used for cutting laminated glass sheets to size.
The essence of manual technology: The glass sheet is placed on horizontal surface of a cutting table preferably with a non-abrasive surface. A ruler is placed on the glass sheet, along which a diamond glass cutter is drawn. In the case of old conventional glass cutters, before the cutting operation, the cutter tip was dipped into kerosene to give lubrication to the diamond cutter and to the glass for preventing the glass flaking off at the cutting line.
Nowadays glass cutters with more modern design can be filled with evaporating glass cutting oil representing a more advanced technology. The glass cutter drawn alongside a ruler makes a scratch on the glass sheet, along which the glass can be broken. Then the glass sheet is moved to the edge of the cutting table so that the scratch line runs parallel with the table edge and finally with a single firm movement the glass sheet is gets broken alongside the scratch line. This method is still used today in many smaller capacity workshops.
As everywhere, of course, technological advances have made an impact, resulting in faster and more accurate operations. Initially, machine manufacturers began to combine, most of the glass cutting tools available at that time, into a single machine. This is how the semi-automatic glass cutting table, or more commonly known as the semi-automatic cutting machine, was created. This machine was able to perform the operation much faster, eliminating the need for one of the most important tools of that time, the ruler. The glass cutting machine was combined with a bridge, also known as beam, on which two slides moves in the X and Y directions, greatly facilitating the glass cutting operation. Furthermore, additional functions have made the work of professional glass cutters easier, such as automatic oiling, easy glass movement with air cushion, digital display of dimensions, removable glass cutting disc, also known as glass cutting blade, or glass breaker bars for easy breaking of glass sheets. These machines are extremely popular, affordable, and mastering glass cutting techniques is easy on them.
But progress and automation could not stop there. Today the most well-known and, of course, most popular tools in the field of glass sheet cutting is the professional CNC controlled, automatic glass cutting machines. These machines outperform their predecessors, the semiautomatic glass cutting machines; not only in speed, but in most cases they have optimization software, laminated glass cutting feature, 3 axes for cutting various shapes, laser scanning, automatic low-e layer removal, or plotter cutting heads. And what these features are used for? The optimizer software is highly complex software that not only allows you to easily place various glass shapes on the glass sheet, but also places them in a way that after arranging all shapes the size of waste is minimized.
In addition to straight cuts in x and y direction, the software is capable of inserting various shapes, as well as order management, partner database management, inventory management, and many more tasks that makes life easier for companies with large number of orders. The laminated glass cutting function, also known as mirror cutting, allows cutting laminated glass panels. The 3-axis option gives the ability to cut various glass shapes as mentioned before. And the laser scanning allows for the machine to know what glass sizes it can work with without the operator previously specifying it. The low-e layer removal unit is capable of grinding off the metallic layer before the machine starts cutting.
These machines are not suitable for cutting toughened glass!
Of course, there are many more interesting and varied features and technical elements in glass cutting that deserve your attention. Please contact us for these features and for more information on machinery, and we will be happy to help you find the right equipment for you.