Laser cutting is an accessible and widely used material processing method
Laser cutting is a relatively young type of processing, since the laser used for cutting materials learned only in the second half of the last century. The cutting tool in this process is a finely focused laser beam. Its capabilities are not limited to straight cutting, it is able to perform filigree cutting on complex contours, perform holes of different sizes, cut openwork patterns and other decorative elements.
How does the laser cutting process occur
The laser beam concentrates on the surface in a very small spot. Powerful radiation causes local heating of the material, resulting in a change in its structure – melting or burning through. The edges of the cut blanks are smooth and neat, without hooks and meltings. The path of the beam can be either flat or intricate, there are no configuration restrictions. Laser cutting facilitates the manufacture of parts of complex shapes, non-standard elements, products with original design. The laser will quickly produce any curly cut, providing an exceptional cut quality.
Pros and cons of laser cutting technology
Among the few shortcomings of laser cutting, we can note the limitations on the thickness of the workpiece. Each material has its maximum values of this parameter, in which, as a result of high-temperature action, the contour deformation does not occur and the edge turns out to be qualitative.
The positive aspects of laser cutting technology are much more:
- The availability and profitability of the application both in industrial environments during mass production and in small craft shops for the production of small quantities of products, as well as for use by domestic craftsmen for hobbies.
- A huge list of processed materials. A laser cutter can cut non-thick billets from different types of wood (deciduous and coniferous, including valuable ones), as well as veneer, cork, plywood, MDF. Irreplaceable is a laser for the treatment of acrylic, various polymers, brittle, elastic, easily deformed, and also having a low density of materials. Fiber laser engravers are successfully used for cutting and shaped processing of metals. Using laser technology for cutting fabrics, leather, paper allowed to optimize the cutting process and get rid of patterns and knives.
- Cost-effective. Narrow focusing of the beam provides a small width of the cutting line, which contributes to optimal cutting, the minimum amount of waste, besides it does not require additional costs for grinding the edges of the finished product. Due to the absence of direct contact of the workpiece with the cutting tool, there is no need for mechanical fixing of the material on the working surface, which allows working with delicate materials and reduces the appearance of deformations from rigid fixatives.
- High speed of performance and productivity, even at industrial volumes
- Exceptional accuracy. Providing clear and smooth lines, the smallest detail of the cut-out elements, excellent quality of internal corners, the ability to manufacture small parts, high repeatability for any number of copies.
Using laser cutting at home and at work
A wide range of advantages of laser cutting determines the popularity of this type of processing in various industries. In the production of furniture, souvenir and promotional products, decorative objects of the interior, the elements made with the help of this technology are actively used. The laser provides qualitative cutting of textiles, leather for sewing, shoe and haberdashery branches. Laser cutting helps create exclusive ornaments, original packaging, stencils, is used in printing for the production of postcards, booklets, other paper products, opens a lot of opportunities for hand-made.