Sheet Metal Laser Cutting: Types, Pros & Cons, And Applications

By Oscarjack 6 Min Read

Laser cutting is a CNC (computer numerical control) precision sheet metal fabrication method. Using high-powered laser beams, sheet metal is precisely cut to the required dimensions.

An assist gas and an adjusted focus light are utilized in the cutting process. Generally, light and gas transform any metal into its intended form and dimensions. When cutting sheet metal with a laser, things can get tricky. However, it provides versatility, speed, and precision.

Types of Laser Cutting Machine 

If you wish to purchase a sheet metal cutting laser machine, you are presented with a variety of alternatives:

Pulsed Laser Cutting Machine

This laser-cutting machine for sheet metal generates a high power output for a limited duration. Their capacity to rapidly discharge substantial force makes them highly suitable for penetrating.

Moving Material Laser Cutting Machine

A laser cutter operated on moving material emits a stationary light beam. This apparatus links a mobile surface that executes predetermined motion to the pieces. Computers are utilized to program the directions. It cuts sheet metal accurately and precisely, but this equipment is usually much slower than others.

Flying Optic Laser Cutting Machine

Flying optic laser cutters are among the most cost-effective and expeditious cutting devices. Their intense laser beam may cut into a metal sheet’s X and Y dimensions. Their multidimensional capability and speed enable you to cut many pieces in a brief period.

Punch Laser Cutting Machine

These high-powered laser cutting machines, which use up to 3500 watts, can cut metal. Punch laser cuts can have numerous functions, such as cutting, marking, shaping, and bending. Their principal part is to remove complex interior contours and exterior components.

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Types Of Lasers Applied To Sheet Metal Cutting

Laser-cutting machinery for sheet metal employs one of three varieties of lasers:

  • Nd YAG Laser

For high-powered engraving and penetration, YAG lasers are suitable. Iron, tungsten, steel, titanium, chromium, and steel are among the tough metals that can be engraved with the assistance of these lasers.

  • C02 Laser

When working with metal, a CO2 laser is a way for cutting, drilling, and engraving. These lasers utilize radio frequency energy to cut mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. They suit industrial applications exceptionally well.

  • Fiber Laser

A solid-state fiber laser operates on a solid gain medium instead of a gaseous or liquid one. Glass fibers increase the seed laser beams in this system. In metal fabrication, fiber lasers are not very common.

  • Nd Laser

Style-wise, Nd and Nd-YAG lasers are identical. The application procedure varies. Nd lasers, as compared to YAG lasers, are most effective in applications requiring high energy and minimal repetition.

Advantages Of Laser Metal Sheet Cutting

Cutting sheet metal with a laser provides a wide range of benefits.

  • Implementation of this technology has the potential to decrease manufacturing expenses. This is accomplished by preventing the necessity for machining in specific engineering tasks.

  • A high degree of precision is another feature of this technology.

  • In addition to enabling the creation of intricate forms, laser cutting ensures that no pieces become contaminated.

  • Additionally, the probability of material deformation is considerably diminished.

Furthermore, certain metals are incapable of being cut using alternative methodologies.

  • Superior overall finish quality

  • Narrow kerf width provision

  • High-speed cutting capabilities

  • Minimal waste of material

  • Secondary processing steps obviated

  • Low operator interaction

Cons of Laser Metal Sheet Cutting

Despite its numerous benefits, sheet metal laser cutting technology does possess certain drawbacks.

  • The primary drawback is that the process frequently demands enormous energy.

  • In addition, the greater the current of a laser cutter, the greater its ability to cut deep.

  • Lasers are utilized for the precise and rapid cutting of thinner metals.

  • However, “heat zones” may form in metals with greater thickness. If this occurs, certain metals may dissolve or change.

  • Laser cutting of thicker metals is, therefore, not possible. This is due to the potential for material damage and the increased cost.

  • Heat zones or heated areas may result from excessive laser exposure. Further processing may be required to attain the intended outcomes in such instances. Consequently, labor, material, and energy expenses will increase.

Main Applications of Sheet Metal Laser Cutting

  • Aerospace Sector

The aerospace industry is among the most significant consumers of laser cutting technology due to its precise dimensional accuracy. Most parts of airplanes and other machines like metal detectors, trolleys, elevators, and so on are cut during production.

  • Jewelry Manufacturing

Laser cutters readily map the intricate patterns found in most jewelry designs. Jewelry is frequently crafted from slender materials. Therefore, laser cutting is well-suited for the fabrication of jewelry.

  • Medical Instruments

Laser-cut metals are present in trolleys, cots, surgical equipment, orthopedic pins, rods, and other objects. Despite the increasing prevalence of 3D printing, laser cutting remains the preferred method for producing surgical instruments.

  • Interior Design

As room dividers, laser-cut sheet metals are an exceptional material that can enhance the room’s aesthetics and generate additional space. You can achieve a customized appearance for your room by combining the manufacturer’s ingenuity with the precision of laser cutting.

 

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