Laser Cutting: 10 Things Lasers Can Do
Laser cutting techniques are becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing process. This is because lasers are highly precise, making it easy for tradesmen to quickly produce cuts and etchings with a precision that would have been unthinkable until recently. Used mainly in industrial manufacturing, laser cutting ises a highly focused beam of light to cut materials. There are many different kinds of laser cutting machines and they each work differently. With most laser cutters, the material is either blown away by jets of gas, burned or vaporized, leaving behind a high precision cut, etching, edge, or boring. Laser cutters increase both the speed and quality of the cutting process, as lasers do not wear out or maintain prolonged contact with the material, like most other cutting and etching tools do. Following are 10 things lasers can do:
- Laser cutting technology can be used to cut flat sheet material. Whether the material is wood, wax, plastic, ceramic, metal, or something entirely different, laser cutting allows you a degree of precision that other cutting tools cannot match.
- Laser cutting allows you to cut as many identical products as you wish by eliminating most of the contamination and wear normally involved with mechanised cutting. Because lasers don't have an actual surface to wear out, they can be used indefinately with consistent results.
- Laser cutting, because of its precision and minimal effect on the material surrounding the cutting area, can achieve good cutting results even with materials that are difficult or even impossible to cut by other means.
- Because the laser is so precise and has such a small area of effect, you can cut materials without damaging or warping the surrounding material in any way. When compared with some other forms of heat-cutting, a laser's heat is highly concentrated, preventing it from damaging the material around the cut.
- Compounds that don't melt, including carbon, wood and some there mostting plastics, can be cut using a vaporization process, where any waste material is vaporized, effectively removing it.
- With laser cutting, you can produce etchings, borings and cuts to incredibly accurate tolerances. Modern laser cutters can be positioned accurately to tolerances of five to ten micrometers. (.000005m-.00001m) A micrometer is less than the width of a strand of human hair.
- Laser cutting machines are normally fairly simple to operate and do not demand a large amount of skill or training. Most suppliers of laser cutting machines will give you any necessary training.
- Laser cutting machines produce very little waste, so you don't need to spend much time cleaning up after each job. Metal is cut without shavings, wood is cut without sawdust. In most cases, the small amounts of waste material left behind can be cleaned up using a ordinary vacuum cleaner.
- Laser cutting machines can be used to produce similar effects to those of a blow torch by reactive cutting. Often used for steel over 1mm thick, this technique provides much greater precision and consistency than torch cutting.
- Laser cutting are sometimes used to intentionally crack materials which are heat sensitive. Typically used when cutting or etching glass, the technique allows the manufacturer to control the way in which the glass cracks.
Marc Anderes is a co-founder of Maloya Laser that is dedicated to <A href="http://www.MaloyaLaser.com">Laser Cutting</a> and Metal Manufacturing with state-of-the-art <A href="http://www.maloyalaser.com/capabilities_equipment.php">laser systems</a>, servicing medical, aerospace, scientific and transportation requirements.