The Advantages of Laser CuttingShea Bethell
There are numerous processes for material cutting in the industrial sector, including several types involving laser cutting. A simple search online will provide a plethora of information about laser cutting, so we have gathered up some of the most interesting and useful advantages of laser cutting into one neat article.
What started the laser cutting revolution?
Over the last 50 years, the manufacturing and production industries around the world have been innovating and developing processes at an increasingly rapid rate. As these industries evolve, so too must all of the processes and people that are driving it.
Even though conventional forms of cutting worked well, there was always a need for a safer, more efficient process that could grow in line with the increasing demands of manufacturing and production.
Enter laser cutting, being able to work faster, more precisely and for longer, it was the technological development that changed the cutting scene and has been adopted as a fundamental process in numerous industries, including the automotive, aerospace, electronics and medical industries.
So What Are The Advantages?
There are numerous advantages that cutting with lasers has provided to various industries around the world:
It’s a “Non-Contact Process” – What this means essentially is that the laser cutting machine doesn’t physically touch the material that it is interacting with, rather, it provides the melting and cutting process through heat. As a result, damage to the material is minimised when compared to conventional cutting methods. Additionally, repair and maintenance costs for moving parts that make contact with the work surface are avoided. An example of this would be a saw blade requiring sharpening or replacement.
Low Power Consumption – In a world that is continuously looking to lower costs and increase production all the while trying to “stay green”, laser cutting holds an important advantage in that it will only use around 10kW of power, where other heavy duty cutting processes can use around 50kW for the same results.
A Safer Method – With increased production comes a need for increased safety. Laser cutting is considered a much safer cutting process than other methods as the cutting process is performed in a sealed chamber.
Can Work With A Variety Of Materials – Metals, plastics, wood, glass, perspex and more! A laser will have no problem cutting these materials down in size and creating complex and intricate shapes.
Incredibly Precise – One the greatest benefits of laser cutting is the highly accurate and precise cutting it provides. Furthermore, it provides clean cuts with a smooth finish. This has enabled products, components and devices to become much smaller, while significantly reducing the amount of material wastage that has been made in the past when using conventional cutting methods.
It’s Useful For More Than Just Manufacturing – Manufacturing and production processes are not the only area in which lasers have made a significant impact. They are widely used in the medical sector for accurately cutting tissue as well as in processes that are to intricate for cutting by hand, such as eye surgery. You will also find laser being used in other more niche applications such as for artistic creations or even with food to create decorative designs and finishes!
One Laser Can Be Used for Multiple Applications – Apart from the obvious process of cutting, you will also find that most laser cutting machines have multiple other uses. The beam’s heat and intensity can be closely controlled to allow it to cut in different ways and to work better with different materials. Furthermore, many lasers can be used for similar processes such as engraving, marking and even drilling.