Laser beam machining can produce very precise and intricate cuts. It can perform well for projects needing that sort of machining.  While it can be an excellent machining process for small, specific jobs, there are some limitations of laser beam machining.

What is Laser Beam Machining?

Generally speaking, laser beam machining is a non-traditional method where the tool performing the machining is a laser beam.

Laser beam machining is sometimes referred to as a metal laser cutter. However, it can actually be performed on many different materials, including both metal and non-metal materials.

How Does Laser Beam Machining Work?

The laser beam heats up to a specific temperature appropriate for the workpiece, causing it to melt in certain areas. The high energy produced by the laser beams strikes the workpiece, allowing the thermal energy to  transfer to the material being cut.

The heat generated on the workpiece essentially vaporizes the material through something called Laser: Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. This process uses the laser beam’s thermal energy to remove material from the workpiece surface.

Pros of Laser Beams Machining

There are many advantages of using a metal laser cutting service. Those include:

  • It can focus on minute diameters.
  • It can create a hole in a material with extremely high precision.
  • It does not come into physical contact with a workpiece.
  • It can engrave or cut almost all different types of materials.
  • It requires low maintenance cost since there is little wear and tear to the machine during the machining.
  • Most items do not require additional finishing.
  • Suitable for brittle materials that have a low conductivity.

Limitations of Laser Beam Machining

While there are many positive aspects to using laser beam machining, there are some limitations as well.

High Initial Cost

Laser beam machining can be costly. That is because the initial cost of the machine is high due to a large number of accessories needed to operate the machine. The accessories needed are almost as important as the machine itself in the operation.

While this may be a drawback, laser beam machining is an excellent tool to make precise holes and cuts in any material. Its precision and efficiency can prevent costly mistakes and shorten timelines.

Requires a Trained Technician to Operate

The handling and maintenance of these machines do require a highly trained individual.  For the customer, that’s actually great news since a highly-trained individual works on the workpiece. It may come with higher labor costs but your part or product will be expertly crafted.

Designed for Small Jobs

Laser beam machining is precise and accurate, which is perfect for completing small jobs. However, that also limits this type of machining since it cannot produce mass metal productions. That means this is not a good process to use to complete high-yield jobs. On the other hand, it does create very accurate cuts when used, making it an excellent choice for high-precision jobs.

Precision Metal Laser Cutting Service

Fox Valley Stamping has highly-trained machinists ready to produce the highest-quality product. Contact Us today to get an RFQ or discuss a project.

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