Laser cutting involves the use of a high-powered laser to cut materials. In metal fabrication, this process improves on other methods in multiple ways. Fabricators can use CO2 lasers, neodymium (ND) lasers or ND YAG lasers to cut metal shapes with precision. These lasers vaporize, burn, melt or blow away material to leave behind a clean cut. Discover the benefits of laser cutting for metal fabrication below.
Cutting with a laser delivers more consistent results than methods that involve hard-tooling. Hard tools become dull after repeated use, resulting in lower-quality results without regular replacement.
Meanwhile, lasers use beams that provide the same cut with every use. Since most lasers operate through a computer program, they create consistent cuts when creating multiple pieces of the same design.
Increased Accuracy and Detail
The technology behind laser cutting allows it to provide precise results. Computer numerical control (CNC) programming powers many of today’s laser cutters to ensure high levels of detail and accuracy. A CNC program follows the exact steps the operator specifies, resulting in a close match to the original drawings. Laser cutters also feature high-precision lasers that can cut complex shapes and holes with small diameters.
Reduced Warping and Contamination
Compared to other metal cutting methods, laser cutting has fewer contamination and warping risks when cutting an appropriate material.
Lasers generate a small area of heat when they cut metal. As a result, they have a lower risk of melting and warping metal than cutters that create larger heat areas. During the laser cutting process, the metal sheet doesn’t touch the tool. This separation reduces the chance of contamination from another metal.
Due to multiple factors, laser cutting offers much more efficient results than many other approaches. One- or two-laser cutting machines can perform the work of many machines. Since laser cutting doesn’t use hard-tooling, the operator doesn’t need to switch out tools. The laser cutting machine performs the majority of the work during operation, creating faster results than traditional machines.
CNC programming offers almost endless opportunities for customization and revision. The operator makes all changes to a piece’s design through the CNC program. As a result, they can customize the design to a high degree.
Lasers allow for exact cuts and smaller shapes that an operator can’t create on traditional machines. With a CNC program, the operator can make changes to a design after use. As a result, they can revise the design over time to improve on past results.
A laser cutter has a lower impact on the environment than more traditional fabrication machines. The operator can use multiple techniques to save the amount of scrap that they create with laser cutting. Laser cutters also eliminate waste by removing hard tools from the cutting process. On average, a laser cutter also uses less energy to cut metal than traditional cutting machines.
These benefits all result in a lower environmental impact and more efficient resource usage for the fabricator.
Benefits of Laser Cutting and Metal Fabrication From APX York Sheet Metal
At APX York Sheet Metal, we use advanced techniques such as laser cutting for custom metal fabrication. We manage all of our metal fabrication services in-house for fast project delivery.
Learn more about laser cutting at APX York Sheet Metal by contacting us online today.