Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials. Laser cutting is a fabrication process that uses a thin focused laser beam to cut and etch materials into custom designs, patterns, and shapes as specified by a designer.
Types of laser cutting machine
There are three main types of laser cutting machines;
- CO2 Lasers
Co2 laser runs power through a gas mixture filled-tube producing light beams. High-capacity CO2 lasers are capable of cutting through even steel plates. CO2 laser cutting machines tend to pinpoint precision, so you can expect less loose debris during the cutting process.
- Fiber Lasers
This laser cutting machine amplifies the beam using specially designed glass fibers that derive energy from pump diodes. Fiber lasers work by channeling and amplifying light through fiber optic cable. These types of lasers can generate different wavelengths and that’s the reason they are commonly used in industrial applications. The major difference between fiber lasers and CO2 lasers is that fiber works better for cutting brass, aluminum, and copper because the beam is more readily absorbed.
- Laser crystal cutters
The laser generates beams from nd: YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate, crystals. These devices can cut through thicker and stronger materials.
Core components of a laser cutter
- The laser resonator, the laser beams emanates from a laser resonator, an airtight glass tube with two mirrors that face each other.
- The cutting head, once the beams have reached the cutting head it passes through a curved lens and is magnified and focused onto a single point.
- Nozzle distance, at all times an accurate distance is maintained between the plate and the nozzle
How to choose a laser cutting machine?
When choosing a laser cutting machine there are various factors you should consider. The machine should have at least the following:
- high cutting accuracy, the machine should have little or no error.
- High speed, it should be able to process and work fast.
- Good cutting quality, the machine should produce quality work.
- Low noise level, it should be environmentally friendly with low noise production.
- Low vibration, the vibration level of the machine should be low.
Advantages of laser cutting machine
- Flexibility, laser cutting does not require an exchange of tools for each separate cut.
- Accuracy is one of the primary advantages of laser cutting when compared to other cutting methods. The cutting accuracy of these machines has tremendously improved with the advancement of CNC innovation. With better accuracy, cutting time is significantly reduced.
- Speed lacer cutting is faster compared to traditional methods, this method is good in complex cuts.
- The job needs little manpower as the contemporary laser cutting machine is highly automated.
- By using the right setup laser cutter leaves a small inflection.
- Low power consumption—Modern laser cutting machines are designed to use less power; unlike traditional laser machines.
Uses of laser cutting machines
- They are used in automotive industries, metals, and plastics, to form various shapes of vehicle parts as well as interior cover and buttons.
- Used in the jewelry industry– the precision of laser cutting lends itself easily to the jewelry-making process.
· Laser cutting machines are used in silicon manufacturing. They are also used in ceramic manufacturing.
Frequently Asked Questions
· How thick of metal can a laser cut?
The laser cutting maximum thickness would typically be about 2.75inches.
- What materials should not be cut with a laser machine?
Coated carbon fibred, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastics, and Polyvinylchloride should not be cut with a laser machine.
- How long do laser engraves last?
The machine usually lasts for more than 35000hours of life and uses little in the way of consumables.