Laser cutting can be used to cut various materials, such as metal, and boasts numerous benefits. This technology is often used for industrial manufacturing applications, however other uses have been found in small businesses, schools and amongst hobbyists. Laser cutters are controlled using a computer. This process is a CNC, or computer numerically controlled, task. This means a design is created using a computer and then is sent to the machine. The machine can then create the design in whatever material is being cut.
This technology was first used in 1965. The first laser cutter used was created by the Western Electric Engineering Research Center. The machine’s task was to drill holes into diamond dies.
In present times, there are three commonly used lasers, the CO2 laser, the neodynmium (Nd) and the neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd-YAG). The first type of lase laser engraving mentioned, the CO2 laser, is used for boring, cutting and engraving. The other two lasers are the same style, but are used for different applications. When a boring task must be executed that requires high energy with low repetition, the Nd laser works best. If a boring task requires high power and engraving, then the Nd-YAG is the best choice. All of these lasers can be used for welding.
Laser cutting provides several benefits. First, using this technology can reduce manufacturing costs by eliminating the need of machining in some engineering jobs. This technology also offers a high-level of precision and allows complicated shapes to be created. Laser cutting will not contaminate work pieces either and the likelihood of warping is also reduced when this technology is implemented. And lastly, there are some materials that are almost impossible to cut using any other technique.
The main downfalls to laser cutting is that it requires a lot of power.
Tips to help your design turn out the way you want it to:
- Avoid sharp angles, typically anything less than ten degrees. The laser will not be able to accurately make such sharp turns, which will result in a more rounded final product.
- Avoid intricate designs. Once metal is heated, the laser cutter is not able to cut high levels of detail with extreme accuracy.
is a technology that is often used in industrial manufacturing. It presents several benefits and boasts high quality end results. Common uses of this technology include sheet laser cutting, cutting of structural components and also piping.