Laser cutting is one of the most sought-after digital manufacturing techniques offered on the market today. It is a type of advanced manufacturing that involves cutting a digital design into pieces of roll or sheet material with exceptional finishes. In essence, what happens is that a computer is programmed to aim a high-power laser beam at the material to be cut. The material then melts and burns, leaving behind edges with a high-quality finish.
There are a lot of benefits to laser cutting services that process end-users can realize. Here are a few critical advantages of laser cutting.
Reduced deterioration of materials
Laser cutting services are ideal for applications where high material tolerances are required. Given that the process of laser-cutting is completely non-contact, there is minimal deterioration of the material being cut, even if the material is delicate – for instance, plastics. By reducing the mechanical machining damage caused to the material being cut by burr or dust formation, the available material is used up efficiently. Better-quality cutting abilities result in clean, striation-free edges, which is essential for meeting material tolerances and reducing rework. In turn, this minimizes the need for secondary finishing.
Most of the accidents that are associated with manually-operated cutting machines can be avoided by opting for laser cutting. Because laser cutting has computer numerical control (CNC) software doing most of the work, there is minimal human intervention in the cutting process, except when maintenance or repairs are required. Hence, laser cutting can reduce the occurrence of accidents and injuries.
Since laser cutting is an entirely digital process, a considerable amount of the actual work is done through computer-controlled programs. This means the process can be repeated over and over again to produce parts of the same high quality, as there is minimal room for human error. Total part repeatability makes laser cutting best in applications where consistency is required for production of precision parts; in other words, the cut parts will be exact replicas of the intended design.
Laser cutting can be used to cut a wide array of parts made of different materials. This technology is extremely versatile and it can be used, among other things, metals, plastics, wood, leather, ceramics, rubber, acrylic, and many more. Since laser cutting is a fully automated process, it is rather simple to achieve pattern changes for various materials, as only edits have to be made to computer-aided design (CAD) drawing files, which are programs usually stored in the computer database to ensure material is cut according to the set specifications.