Laser cutting is an innovative form of technology that utilizes an optical device to cut materials. It is often used in industrial production applications but is also used by hobbyists and in small businesses. The optical device cutting process operates by guiding the output of a powered laser cutter with a computer. The material is then melted, burns, vaporizes or in certain cases, blown away by a jet of gas leaving behind an edge with a quality finish on the surface. Laser cutters or industrial optical devices are used to cut flat sheet material or structural and even piping materials. Utilizing a laser cutter to chop down materials is manufacturing method that has proved to be quite useful and might eliminate the need for machining in various engineering tasks.
According to Mastercut Technologies (a Gold Coast based, Australian thin metal fabrication company) their laser cutting service presents a couple of benefits over plasma cutting or machining as it is more precise and consumes less energy when cutting metal and steel sheets. Additionally, the modern laser machines are even able to slice through thick materials, making plasma devices more and more ineffective.
The preciseness and quality you can achieve with laser cutting devices are higher than the traditional cutting strategies. That is because the laser beam won’t wear during the procedure. Laser cutting tech ideally allows manufacturers to design and cut advanced shapes without the need for tooling and at a quicker speed than conventional cutting strategies.
Also, the fact that laser cutting technology offers a vastly reduced contamination presents a huge advantage over the conventional mechanical cutting methods.
Ideally, laser cut technology allows engineers to cut small diameter holes with great detail and high edge quality on either plate, tube sheet or box section.
However, not everything is perfect, and that applies to laser cutting technology. Even with the appealing benefits, laser cutting has its fair share of disadvantages.
When laser cutters are used on plastic, the fumes produced when melting are usually very toxic. That means that the device will have to be placed in a well-ventilated area and that takes a lot of time and money to create and implement safely.
Another disadvantage is that laser cutting can’t be used for all metal types. Cooper is hard to cut with an optical device as it is too thick and tends to reflect an excessive amount of light. Also, transparent and brittle materials like crystal and glass cannot be cut using this technology.
Another downside is that a substantial amount of energy is required to keep the device operating. The exact amount of energy needed depends on the type of laser, the type of material to be cut, the cutting rate as well as the thickness of the material. However, there is a need for a lot of energy, especially in industrial applications.
Even though laser cutting is one of the quickest methods, the production speeds are not always consistent. The speed depends on the type of laser, type of material and of course, the thickness of the material.