With the global laser cutting market projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.16%, the high demand for laser cutting services worldwide isn’t stopping any time soon. The demand is fueled by the increased reliance on more advanced cutting methods.
Thanks to laser cutters, you can now split production materials into patterns that conform to certain designs and outcomes. These machines use a powerful laser beam to melt, burn and vaporize a wide range of materials. As a result, production processes take place faster and more efficiently.
While laser cutting is effective, you need to understand its benefits before outsourcing the service. If you are looking for this type of service, learn about the upsides you should anticipate from this laser cutting guide.
Low Operational Costs
Laser-cutting providers can attest to the fact that laser cutters are more economical than other computer numeric control (CNC) machines. You don’t need to build a separate custom tool when using this technology. Even more, there’s no need to modify the machine for any project since it doesn’t require any extra cutting tools.
Since there’s no physical contact on a laser cutter, the device is unlikely to wear out. Its maintenance costs are lower compared to other cutting technologies. Also, it costs less to use it in manufacturing processes.
When compared to plasma cutters, laser cutters have slightly higher upfront costs. But they are more cost-effective in the long run than plasma cutters since they consume less electricity.
If you opt to outsource a laser-cutting service, it’ll be more affordable than buying the entire machine. You won’t have to hire additional staff to operate and maintain the machine.
Low Power Consumption
A typical laser cutter consumes laser power in the 5W to 50W range for non-industrial applications. In industrial applications that need faster speeds, an 80W laser power or higher is ideal.
While laser cutters are assumed to consume more power, with optimization, it’s possible to reduce power consumption. These devices don’t have any moving parts, which require more energy to operate. And since it takes them a short time to cut through materials, they save both power, time, and operational costs.
When you outsource the service, the provider will identify the optimal power for the job. They will carry out test runs with different speed and power configurations before settling on an energy-efficient option.
High Precision and Accuracy
Lasers cut into materials at high precision through a focused beam of light. Though the laser is usually small, the accuracy and power with which it penetrates materials are unmatched. Expect a tolerance range between 0.003 and 0.006 mm for the device.
The go-to machine for high precision and accurate cutting in manufacturing is a laser cutter. Practitioners in the aerospace industry also opt for this technology for its high tolerance.
Since laser cutters are computer-controlled, operators can enhance their safety and precision. For extremely accurate cuts, features like:
- Coherent photons
- Fiber optics precision
- Low variation range
Laser-cutting devices have a consistent flow of photons aligned to one intense and steady energy beam to increase precision. The beam of light easily slices through materials if it is intense and steady enough. These devices also have fiber optic lenses to control and guide the cutting.
Compatibility with Various Materials
Laser cutters are highly versatile since you can not only use them to cut but also to mark, drill and engrave materials. You also won’t have to replace or switch its components to carry out these tasks.
You may outsource the machine to cut wood, plastic, cardboard (corrugated, gray, or cellulose), metal, foam, or textile. It can cut through wood derivatives like plywood and MDF with high flexibility and precision.
When used to cut plastic, the device is compatible with:
- High-density polyethylene
- Kapton tape
- Two-tone acrylic
Laser cutters are more suitable for cutting metals, sheet metal included, compared to water jet cutters. They guarantee high precision and quality finish and pair well with both spring and stainless steel.
For foam, the machines can cut through EPM, Gator foam, Depron foam, and neoprene. They also help create digital embroidery in fabric for increased appeal.
Like CNC machining and 3D printing, laser cutters can help translate digital designs into better-looking tangible prototypes. They cut parts from sheets of different materials to achieve fine cuts. And when operating on low power, they can also engrave the cut parts.
Depending on the laser power, the machine can pair with materials of different thicknesses to create prototypes. As a result, the prototypes can work well without any post-processing or assembly. For instance, you can use laser-cut acrylic in place of a light diffuser in your LED project.
Thanks to the high level of detail laser cutting technology delivers, it helps make bespoke, customized, or custom-designed products. It also helps generate intricate designs from different materials and engrave complex designs into products.
Though the technology only generates flat parts, you can use it to build parts that can attach to each other and form 3D structures. For instance, most 3D printers used in the past featured frames with laser-cut wood expertly joined together.
Higher Sheet Use with Less Waste
If you are running a business, having large amounts of leftover material is quite a nuisance. You have to figure out how to safely dispose of it. And if this problem is redundant, it means that it’s likely difficult to account for the resources used.
One way to achieve efficiency and sustainability in your production processes is through laser cutting technology. With a cutting-edge laser cutter, you can optimize production and reduce waste. It’s also easy to track the amount of material used and predict future use cases.
Most modern laser cutters offer live feedback on sheet utilization and waste reduction. They can give you insights on how to optimize the work for more efficient outcomes. As you create a design, they can optimize the placement of cuts and give warnings when the materials are running low.
Laser cutting is thus an efficient way for businesses and manufacturers to optimize material use. It also helps reduce production costs and improve sustainability.
Perfect for Tasks of Vast Complexity
Tasks that seem difficult for other cutting machines are quite easier for laser cutting machines. It’s because laser cutters produce complex geometries with slight warping or distortion. They also have a broader tolerance level and can withstand various materials.
Practitioners in the printing, electronic, woodworking, and automotive industries can turn to this technology to accomplish certain tasks. The same applies to HVAC, packaging, and medical practitioners.
You may count on this technology to convert components from materials like papers, foils, films, and laminates. Laser cutters also accommodate VHB tapes, foams, mats, coated fabrics, rubber, aggressive adhesive materials, and abrasive materials.
Depending on the use, the laser cutter system may play functions such as perforating, seaming, and cutting. Other functions and capabilities include engraving, etching, drilling, marking, and metal welding.
As the machine cuts through the material, it uses a beam path to vaporize it. The result is a high-quality surface finish that doesn’t need scraping. It takes less time to alter designs and improve the surface finish with such a method.
A laser cutter can help prevent damage even when using narrow materials. While distortions or warping may occur, you can easily avoid them when using the cutter.
The heat produced by the machine only targets a small section of the material. It doesn’t have any impact on tolerance. Even more, the machine takes less time to cut through the sheets, making it less likely to have an error.
Most modern laser cutters follow a stable, accurate, and reliable cutting process. They direct a focused beam of energy that slices through the sheet.
It’s also possible to program them to achieve high cutting efficiency.
When cutting through the material, the device blows out molten material. The outcome is a fine cut with tight tolerances, smooth edges, and increased laser precision.
Experienced laser-cutting operators are always keen to spot problems in the machine. By doing this, they help prevent safety issues and keep the device running properly.
At times, problems may arise from the power output, table vibration, or auxiliary gas. When this happens, the operator must ensure that the laser cutter is stable before using it.
It’s also common for the machine to have issues with beam accuracy. But with automatic focus, it’s easy to fix this problem and improve the efficiency of the cuts. Other fixable problems operators run into include dealing with thicker materials and part geometries.
Looking for Laser Cutting Services?
Laser cutting offers unmatched benefits to practitioners in many industries. Through this technology, it takes less time and resources to cut through materials. Moreover, it helps make production processes more efficient, sustainable, and economical.
Count on ACE Laser as your full-service provider for laser-cutting solutions for accurate results. We offer world-class customer support on all of our fully-integrated, end-to-end solutions.
Contact us today to make an inquiry on any of our services.