What Are The Advantages Of Laser Cutting?
So, you want to invest in laser cutting, but are unsure what you’re getting into.
According to a recent report by Reportlinker.com, ‘The laser cutting machines market is expected to reach $6.44 billion in 2026…’ This means that the increase in consumer demand is expected to rise.
This article will review laser cutting advantages and why you should consider jumping into this growing industry.
What Is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting is a manufacturing process that uses an extremely powerful laser to cut or engrave different materials. Simply put, it automates the process at such an exponentially increasing rate that it would be nearly impossible for a human to replicate.
Here’s a fun fact for you from CTR, ‘”The first carbon dioxide (C02) laser was invented in 1963 by Kumar Patel, and just two years later, the first Western Engineering Research Center, originally based in Buffalo, NY, was the first to employ a laser as a cutting device, using a laser to drill holes in diamond dies.”‘ If you’re familiar with Dimar’s work, our current headquarters is in Buffalo.
How Laser Cutting Works
You know the top of a ballpoint pen and how it creates a perfect circle of ink when you press down? We’ll refer to the ballpoint pen tip as a laser beam in laser cutting. That precise point creates a super high intensity that can cut through the material.
The entire process is controlled by, you guessed it, a computer. But, behind that computer is often a certified technician that helps guide the process so everything runs smoothly.
Laser Cutting Advantages
Compared to traditional cutting methods, laser cutting offers several advantages. Below we’ll go over how this process helps cut costs while offering speedy yet qualified precision.
Unlike many manufacturing machines, laser cutters typically do not require you to switch out different tools for whatever cut you want. The nice thing about laser cutting machines is that they can work within the same setup while offering various cutting options.
Accurate Cutting Methods
Laser cuttings offer extreme accuracy compared to other traditional cutting methods. Today, cut width can be extremely small with laser cutting (less than 0.0001 inch) whilst dimensional accuracy is almost as precise (at approximately ± 0.0005 inch). This reduces the need for finishing work and minimizes waste.
A major advantage of a laser cutting machine is its ability to deliver a minimal heat-affected zone (HAZ). The heat-affected zone results in more reliable parts or components and is often near-exact replicas.
Quick Cutting Methods
Laser-cutting is often faster than other manufacturing processes, especially for more complex cuts.
If you compare it to other thermal cutting methods like plasma cutting, laser beats them in speed up to a certain thickness of around 10 mm. Of course, each laser cutter is different so everything boils down to the type of machine you have and its power.
As we mentioned earlier, a lot of laser cutting is driven by a computer so it requires little effort besides overall observation from a professional. The entire process is extremely automated and often results in lower costs because of it.
Depending on how a laser cutter is set up, you’re often going to observe possibly a tiny burr on a part. Usually, it’s not necessary to remove the burr, but it depends on the material, its thickness and other factors.
Suitable For Different Materials
Oh yes, this is one of the best parts of using a laser cutter; versatility. Picture a machine that can cut a variety of materials in a short amount of time and deliver precise results. That’s today’s laser. cutter.
Again, this can vary depending on the laser machine’s power. The technology is suitable for a variety of profiles. If you want to get into more detail, something like tube laser cutting can perform the process on anything from box sections to open channels.
Ready To Experience The Advantages?
Laser cutting offers many advantages over traditional cutting methods, making it a popular choice for various manufacturing applications. If you want to start your laser cutting project, Dimar Manufacturing offers in-house expertise and products. Get a quote today.