Laser cutting offers numerous benefits over other sheet metal cutting methods, including higher accuracy, speed, and efficiency. This makes it an excellent choice for many fabrication projects. However, it’s important to make sure that you hire an experienced company for your sheet metal laser cutting project. This way, you can be sure that the cutting process will be completed correctly and according to your specifications. This is because the process is highly precise and can yield precise results even for intricate details.
What is Sheet Metal Laser Cutting
Sheet metal laser cutting is a process where a high-power laser beam is used to cut metal parts. The laser beams are focused onto the workpiece using a high-quality lens. The size of the focused spot depends on the material thickness and the quality of the lens. Generally, the kerf (cutting width) is smaller than 0.004 inches (0.10 mm), but it can reach 0.0125 inches (0.32 mm). In addition, the laser beam also undergoes piercing prior to cutting, a process that takes five to fifteen seconds to complete a cut in 13mm thick stainless steel.
Sheet Metal Laser Cutting Processes
Depending on the different materials being cut, laser cutting can be used for a number of different processes. In most cases, laser cutting is used to cut out simple external features and internal features are punched out using other sheet metal processes. During laser cutting, the laser beam passes through a kerf, or opening, in the material. Once the beam exits the kerf, it diverges slightly as it travels. The remaining molten metal is blown away from the cut. The laser is then guided to the processing head, which is a deflecting mirror. The beam is then bundled in the focal point. The process is controlled by a code that controls the movement of the laser cutting machine. Using laser cutting, a thin sheet of metal can be cut out in almost any 2D shape. Laser cutting is a fast and precise method to cut metals.
There are different laser cutting techniques that can be used. The most common laser cutting process for sheet metal is the vaporization process. This technique produces a clean edge and requires little to no post-cut deburring. Depending on the material being cut, the cutting process may take as little as 5-15 seconds. Another technique is the laser beam flame cutting. This process is useful for cutting steel, aluminum, and other ferrous materials. The laser beam is generated using a CO2 laser. The laser beam travels through a series of lenses, which allows it to reflect light. The CO2 laser has a high power output ratio and is ideal for cutting.
Some metal-cutting laser machines come with a large working area, usually one thousand by two thousand millimeters (mm). These machines are ideal for working with rolled stainless steel and chopped steel. However, larger working areas require thicker frames. Other important features of a metal-cutting laser include a vibration-damping system and an annealed metal bed. These machines also come with special places for mechanical components to be milled on the metal bed.
Types of Metal Cutting Lasers
There are different types of metal cutting lasers. Each type of laser has a distinct application for a wide variety of materials. For example, some are better suited for cutting ferrous metals, while others are better suited for non-ferrous metals. Depending on the type of material you want to cut, different types of metal cutting lasers will have different benefits.
High-powered metal cutting lasers can cut through thick metals more quickly than low-powered ones. High-powered metals absorb more energy than thin metal, so their cutting speed is reduced. In addition, thick metals of maximum thickness require a longer dwell time, which means more energy is absorbed by the metal and more heat is generated.
Diode lasers are another type of metal-cutting laser. These lasers are less efficient than fiber lasers because they don’t have a brightness-enhancing stage, which improves wall-plug efficiency and minimizes optical losses. They also produce lower-quality beams than fiber lasers, making them less suitable for many metal cutting applications.
A fiber laser beam, on the other hand, has a higher absorption rate and are therefore better suited for cutting metals. Fiber laser cutters product some of the most precision cuts.
These types of lasers each have a unique laser power. An important factor for choosing the best materials for the laser will depend on intricate cuts, desired shape, and product design,
Advantages of Laser Cutting on Metal
Despite the fact that laser cutting is still a relatively new technology, it has proven to be very useful for sheet metal fabrication. It offers numerous advantages over other methods, including high speed, high precision, efficiency, quality, and versatility. One advantage of laser cutting is its ability to produce highly accurate cuts, while requiring minimal tool wear and maintenance. This reduces costs and shortens turnaround time, making it an attractive option for many fabrication projects or manufacturing process.
Another advantage of laser cutting is its ability to produce parts without damaging heat-sensitive components. It also allows for clean cuts, without the need for deburring or polishing. The laser-cut edge on sheet metal is smooth, clean, and free of imperfections. Laser cutting is an efficient, versatile, and cost-effective method of fabricating sheet metal. It is used in a wide variety of industries, including electronics, automotive, aerospace, and medical equipment.
The advantages of sheet metal laser cutting are many, but there are also some disadvantages. One downside is that the laser cuts a very small area of material. Another downside is that it uses a lot of power. Also, laser cutting is not always the right tool for every fabrication project. This is because the laser requires an experienced machinist, as well as high-energy industrial lasers.
Tips for Laser Cutting Parts
Getting started with a sheet metal laser cutting project can seem like a complex process. However, you can save money and effort by following a few tips. First, be sure to choose a reliable laser cutting service. This will help minimize interruptions during production. It also ensures a quality finished product. Next, you’ll need a good vector file of the part you are wanting created. In addition, you’ll want to choose a high-powered laser. This will help improve your quality of cut and prevent hot spots.
Whether you’re looking to cut a small part or a large part for your business, laser cutting sheet metal can be the solution. With the right laser, you can get a fast, accurate cut and a finished part with smooth edges and looks professional. Fox Valley Stamping is your best option for laser-cut parts. We deliver cost-competitive high quality laser cut parts. Our skilled CNC precision laser cutting metal fabricators process custom sheet metal jobs quickly and accurately. Contact us to learn more about laser metal cutting.