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What is Laser Cutting Manufacturing?

Posted on Jan 27, 2021 by Cullen Hikene

Laser cutting is the CNC process of directing the output of a high-power laser onto a workpiece, most commonly through optics. The laser optics and CNC (computer numerical control) are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated for this cutting process.

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What are the Different Types of Laser Cutting?

  1. CO2 Laser Cutting
  2. CO2 Laser Cutting (3-Axis)
  3. CO2 Laser Cutting (5-Axis)
  4. Fiber Laser Cutting (3-Axis)
  5. Laser Cutting

What are the Advantages of Laser Cutting?

  • Highly Accurate. Tolerances as low as 0.005″
  • No Direct Contact. No direct contact between workpiece and cutting tool; low risk of contamination.
  • Fast. Laser cutting processes tend to be faster than milling.
  • Safe. The beam is sealed in a tight box.

What are the Limitations of Laser Cutting?

  • Heat-Affected Zones. Even in areas that are not directly melted, the cutting process may impact the underlying microstructure.
  • Power consumption. Machines are electricity hungry.
  • Environmental Impact. Significant usage of CO2.
  • Thick Metals Difficult. Very thick metals are difficult to cut with a laser.

Key Metrics

Standard Tolerance
0.0002mm

Stock Surface Finish
~ 3.2 μm Ra

Maximum Size
6100mm x 3050mm x 150mm

Minimum Layer Thickness
0.004″ (0.100mm)

Minimum Feature Size
0.4mm

Minimum Wall Thickness
~ 0.039″

Conclusion

Laser cutting is an established technology in the CNC cutting space gaining popularity due to its speed and new innovations in multi axis usage. Consider submitting an RFQ through manufacturing services such as ProdEX to get started today.

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