Laser Cutting

Introduction

Laser cutting is a relatively new machining technology which utilises laser to cut materials. This is currently used widely in different industries for precision machining. Earlier it was only prominent in industries but now it is also used by small enterprises, schools and hobbyist. The science behind laser cutting is fairly simple. It employs a strong focused laser beam which is projected to the material to be cut or machined. Material either burn, vaporises or melts. There is usually no waste production in laser cutting as material vaporises. This yields a high-quality surface finish and equally high accuracy which is usually not possible with other machining processes. As this technology improves, its application will also increase dramatically.


Where is it used?

Laser cutting is used in engraving such as engraved sculptures, name tag over materials such as acrylic, crystal and MDF. It is also used to make components in industrial machines where you need fine edges and holes. It is also used in semiconductor industry. High precision and accuracy makes laser cutting the perfect tool for making jewellery. It is also used to create fine markings and precision machining processes.


How to start Laser cutting?

Laser cutting requires a costly setup. So laser cutting is only viable as an industrial setup. So, if you want to own a laser cutting machine, get ready to shell out some cash. On the other hand you can hire a laser cutting service company such as Akaar. The process is simple,you select basic parameters, upload your design and the model will be manufactured and delivered to you.

Pros and cons

Pros

  1. Accuracy – Clean and accurate edges can be obtained easily with laser cutting without dust and blur formation.
    Laser cutting can cut complex contours and can also cut neat zero radius holes. This is one the biggest advantages laser cutting has over conventional technologies.
  2. Materials- A vast range of material can be cut through laser cutting such as acrylic, wood, thin metal and as the technology is evolving more materials can be machined by laser cutting.
  3. Speed – Speed and repeatability are two another positive attributes of laser cutting. The cutting process is very fast and accurate.

Cons

  1. Material specific – some materials can’t be machined by Laser cutting. It is difficult to use laser on reflective materials such as cooper and brass.
  2. Power consumption- Power required of laser cutting is high compared to conventional machining process.
  3. Taper cutting- This is one of the biggest problem with laser cutting, laser cuts in a slight tapper, if you are making a very fine hole it may be cut into a conical hole.
  4. Thickness – laser cutting can be used only for small thickness jobs. Laser cutting is not sustainable for deeper cuts.