A laser cutting machine is a computer numerical controlled manufacturing and prototyping machine which is commonly used by artists, designers, and engineers to cut a flat material. These tools use a focused, thin laser beam to cut through materials. Apart from cutting, laser cutting machines can etch or raster designs onto workpieces by heating up the surface, thus burning off the material’s top layer in order to change its look. They are really useful tools when it comes to manufacturing and they find their use in a wide array of industries including machine shops where there needs to be cut a large amount of material, they are used by artists and makers, hardware companies, etc.
Laser cutting cut materials using a high-powered bean which is controlled by a computer. As the machine guides the beam along the material, everything in this path is burned, vaporized or melted. Because of the precision, this technology offers, the cut product rarely needs any finishing work as the process itself ensures a high-quality surface finish. Laser cutting technology comes in two forms of laser cutting systems: galvanometer and gantry. Gantry system is usually used for producing prototypes since is slower than the galvanometer. In this system, the laser perpendicular to the material and the laser cutter directs the beam overt its surface. On the other hand, galvanometer laser cutting systems use mirrored angles and can cut faster what makes it a perfect choice for fabricators.
There are three different types of laser cutting. The most common is the CO2 laser which is used to cut, engrave or bore. Nd is used for boring when there are low repetitions but high-energy requirements. Nd-YAG is used for welding where is needed a high power.
Yes, the person who operates with the laser cutting machine need to have some basic knowledge, but the CNC technology makes it very easy to manage these machines. The computerized touch screen manages the biggest part of the process, which reduces the amount of work required from the operator. The process of setting up the machine is quite efficient and easy. Newer equipment is designed to automatically correct format in order desired results to be achieved.
The biggest benefit of laser cutting technology is the precision. Laser cutting produces better consistency from one workpiece to other, giving you cleaner cuts, faster production, the greater accuracy with a minimal wasted material, minimal operator intervention which means there is a less human error involved, and all this leading to lower cost to the manufacturer.