What is laser cutting?
A laser cutter is a type of CNC machine. CNC stands for computer numerical controlled. A laser cutter is a manufacturing tool that uses a laser beam to cut materials to create patterns or designs. With a laser cutter you can fabricate parts or engrave designs on materials such as metal, glass, wood and plastic.
Laser cutting can be compared to a traditional saw. The difference between the two is that a laser cutter offers better precision, higher accuracy, and is fully controlled by a programmed computer making the whole process contactless.
Why lasers are used for cutting
Laser cutting is used to cut steel, stainless steel, and aluminium sheets and tubes. Laser cutting is extremely accurate more so than past manual ways. Laser cutting allows for precision cuts down to the millimetre whilst producing a satisfying clean finish. Laser cutters are also able to cut very small shapes and holes that traditional methods can’t do.
What machines to LSS use?
CO2 – CO2 laser utilises a carbon dioxide mixture which is stimulated by electricity. They are known for their high efficiency and beam quality and they have a wavelength of 10.6 micrometres.
Fiber – The laser beam is generated by specially designed glass fibers. Fiber laser are 100x more intense than CO2. They can engrave on materials such as metals, coated metals, and plastic.
How it works
Laser cutting is a thermal cutting process. The laser beam is created in the laser device and passed on through the nozzle in the direction of the work piece. The liquefied materials blown out by cutting gas which is additionally induced through the nozzle motions of the nozzle or work piece form the intended cutting growth.
Here is a simpler way to understand it. The process of laser cutting is a precise and highly accurate laser beam that runs through the material you are cutting. The laser melts the materials as it runs over it.
You can choose to either use a pulse beam or a continuous wave beam. The beams intensity, length and heat output can be controlled but it depends on what material you have chosen to work with. Laser cutting is very accurate and offers a clean smooth finish. The beam is able to achieve cuts as small as 0.1mm.
During the process of cutting stainless steel and aluminium the beam melts the material and then nitrogen is used to blow the liquefied metal out of the kerf.
Advantages of cutting with a laser
- Low maintenance costs
- Less wastage of materials
- One laser machine can work with a variety of different materials
- Much safer than traditional methods
- Extremely reliable
- Replacement parts aren’t expensive
- Non-contact process
- Highly accurate
- Smooth finish
What materials do we cut?
A laser cutting machine has the ability to cut a wide variety of materials. The ones we work with are:
- Stainless steel
- Mild steel