5 Ultimate Metal Laser Cutting Tips !! Read Here
Laser cutting is a wonderful manufacturing technique, it can help us to build big projects and work with a variety of materials. Laser cutting is a technique that uses a laser to cut various materials for both industrial manufacturing applications, schools, small business, and hobbyists purpose using any graphic designing software like CAD. Metal is the most popular material that is cut with lasers. There are over one hundred different types of metal, and almost every industry around the world use some type of metal, whether at the start or at the end of the manufacturing process. It is very difficult to find a process that can cut metal efficiently which can help us in long run with the ever-growing demand for product, reduce cost and help in maintaining the highest level of security. Metal laser cutting has the advantages over plasma cutting that it is more precise and use less energy while cutting metals however, the greater metal can only be cut through plasma instead of industrial.
There are three types of laser cutting process that can be used for cutting metals – Gas cutting, Crystal cutting and fibre cutting.
- Crystal cutting is performed by using nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) nd :YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate) crystals. Crystal lasers are good for cutting metal, but it is typically used where high power is needed like for cutting very thick metal. A crystal laser machine is very expensive so in case of any damage it may cost you much and it has a shorter service life than the other types of laser machines.
- Gas cutting is performed with carbon dioxide or nitrogen mixture. Gas cutting and crystal cutting were used from 1960s, whereas fibre laser are a relatively new process. Earlier Gas laser cutting machine was not preferred choice but now gas laser machines have improved over the last few years and are now much more skilled at cutting metal. It is the most common laser cutting process, and is not expensive to operate as compared to crystal laser
- Fibre cutting is new technology that has been started from the last few years. It is much less expensive to run and only require some cheap replacement of parts in case of any damage. It rarely needs maintenance. Fibre cutting is more favorable than other techniques by several business and manufacturing plants.
Let us investigate the 5 Ultimate Metal Laser Cutting Tips:
- Choose the correct material: One of the most important things is to choose the right material. We do have a choice of materials like solid, rigid, flexible, and translucent. Initially we check the different properties of each material to see if it matches our expectations and our customers’ project. The material provided may have different design guidelines, different thicknesses, and different colours so we must choose the best material as per your requirement. As per our laser cutting materials page, we choose the material for customers project among different options like plastic. wood materials, Plexiglas, and so on.
- Close you design boundaries: The laser cutting machines cuts along the outlines in the metal so we must be very careful while making boundaries every structure should be fully surrounded in a complete, closed contour. For example, if we want to cut a rectangle out of a metal sheet, we must make sure the curve in the file is a fully connected rectangle. Any small breaks in lines can create problem for us like it can result in the would-be cut-out staying attached to the sheet metal as an unplanned tab. Cutting contours should be closed as this is the most important rule.
- Metal tabs and notches: Laser cutting depends on heavily on tabs and notches. Getting them right supports the structural reliability of the metal sheet.
Metal tabs must be at least 3 mm thick or can be two times the material’s thickness, whichever is greater. The length must always be less than five times the width. Tabs should be spaced either a minimum of 1 mm from each other or equivalent to the material’s thickness, whichever is greater.
For metal notches the minimum width must be at least 1mm or the material’s thickness, whichever is greater. The length must be no more than five times its width. The distance among notches must be at least 3 mm.
- Thickness and depth: As we already know that a laser cutting can do everything from hairline deep cuts to wide etching. So, while submitting the file we must make sure that everything is clearly communicated like what you want to cut and what you intend to etch as well as what width or depth you want this will reduce the chance of any confusion or unclarity. You can also use different colour for cutting and etching like blue line for etching and red lines for cutting.
- Precise holes: If you need holes with tight acceptances, one of the best practices is to use the laser cutter to pierce and etch the exact location for the holes. Piercing is making a small hole in the material, which in future guide a drill bit during drilling. For threaded holes, this is one of the finest ways to get an accurate result. A pierced guide hole must naturally be less significant in diameter than the planned final hole.
Above mentioned points are the ultimate 5 tips for laser cutting and apart from them there are some other tips also that we usually use at ACCU GROUP can be used while doing laser cutting. While doing metal laser cutting in ACCU GROUP as an outsourcing company if we take care of these tips it really help us in saving time as there will less chance of any problem and any delay in releasing them to customers and we can serve more customers also.