LaserCutZ state of the art metal fiber laser cutters are capable of cutting thick metal plates that can be assembled into structural or engineering grates. Otherwise, CO2-based laser cutters might warp the metal. Laser Marking - how can you affordably mark metal parts with barcodes and logos? Equipped with CNC router , so that the laser cutters can cut whatever the operator let them to cut. Research on the applications of the CO2 laser is still an ongoing process, of which experimentation plays an important role: only experimentation provides us with certainty about the possible applications . CNC programming can also regulate power output, enabling the laser to shift settings depending on the contours and thickness of the material being cut. Check out this simple guide to design your first laser cut metal part. These two processes have been around much longer than fiber-based cutting with a laser, and have a history dating back to the 1960s, whereas fiber laser are a relatively new process.\n\nTo put it simply, each of the three cutting processes can be used to cut metal, although gas based methods wasn’t always able to do this so well, but we’ve compared them all here.\n\nCrystal lasers are good for cutting metal, but you would typically only use this process where high power is needed, probably for very thick metal. We have written about the laser cutting of copper here, to show the result of the cutting of a butterfly shape into a thin plate of copper. With the high power that these machines pack, you’ll find it can run through steel very quickly.\n\nHere we have looked at the cutting of mild steel, at a thickness of between 0.5mm to 1.9mm, that can be cut at speeds of up to 10m/min. In this instructable I am going to show you some of my experiences. Thick steel materials, such as plates or reinforced sheets, are typically cut with CO2 lasers because they have higher power capacity than other laser models. If the gas isn’t completely pure, then the metals may be oxidised and take on a yellow tint in colour. The rack has to be level, because the distance from the laser that can develop the power density to cut metal can only vary by a less than a millimeter. By using this site, you agree to our. Please share your results and experiences in the comments, I would love to learn more about engrav… If you have more questions regarding cutting with lasers and how a laser metal cutting machine  works, please call +44(0)1489 779696 or get in contact with us here. In general, it is possible to cut metal with both CO 2 and fiber laser. This is known as flashback damage. These factors vary according to the type of laser used. Gas laser machines have improved greatly over the last few years, and are now much more adept at cutting metal. We created a replica of Tower Bridge, and two SPI Lasers’ pets; an eagle and a dragon! We cut most metals, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and nickel. Although this article has focused on the cutting metal, the process is capable of working with an almost limitless amount of materials. Although metal cutting operations traditionally employ mechanical or manual processes, laser cutting can be a viable, effective, and cost-efficient option for metal fabrication. Nitrogen and oxygen assisted laser cutting machines can shape aluminum and stainless steel at relatively high capacities and with quality edge finishes. Even though Digilab's LC40 is a CO2 laser, cutting metal is not one of the features of the laser. Reflective metals are metals such as gold and silver.\n\nTo demonstrate just how well an SPI fiber laser can cut reflective metals, we wanted to create complex and intricate shapes. Metal. You can also see a video demonstration here: redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser Cutting & Marking 0.3mm & 0.9mm Copper.\n\nCutting of aluminium foil\nAluminium foil is a metal that has uses for a range of industries, perhaps most commonly seen in the packaging industry. As the lasing material is stimulated, the beam is reflected internally by means of a partial mirror, until it achieves sufficient energy to escape as a stream of monochromatic coherent light. Leather The moveable laser can perform fast cutting operations while maintaining accuracy, and is highly effective on thin sheet metal. Reflective metals are metals such as gold and silver. In those instances, fibre lasers are the better option. If you’re planning on cutting completely through the metal, you’ll need to use thinner pieces, such as 0.06” thickness or thinner stainless steel. Several businesses and manufacturing plants were interviewed on their thoughts of gas laser cutters vs fiber laser cutters, and it was agreed that the fiber laser setup was the more favourable of the two. Now that we have looked at the different processes and their effect on metal, we will now examine specific examples of the laser cutting of metal. State of the art laser equipment allows Thin Metal Parts to achieve an outstanding combination of edge quality, tolerances, and feature sizes with openings as small as 15 microns. Enlist Your Company ico-arrow-default-right, Select From Over 500,000 Industrial Suppliers. See It is the most common laser cutting process, and is cheaper to operate than a crystal laser .\n\nHowever, comparing this to the fiber laser cutting process, the latter is more advantageous when it comes to cutting metal. Multi-function metal and non-metal mixed laser cutter has a unique metal cutting system, automatic focusing, without manual operation. Stay up to date on industry news and trends, product announcements and the latest innovations. Aluminium foil is a metal that has uses for a range of industries, perhaps most commonly seen in the packaging industry. These machines are highly effective in cutting various grades of steel, such as stainless and carbon steel. Most lasers capable of cutting through even steel plates are high power capacity CO2 lasers. You’ll commonly find this type of steel in a range of industries, such as the automotive and aerospace industries, and is key to forming the bodies and structures of the vehicle and aircraft.\n\nCutting of copper\nCopper is an extremely useful metal thanks to its conductive abilities for electrical currents, alongside other reflective metals such as gold and silver. You can also see a video demonstration here: redENERGY G4 Pulsed Fiber Laser Cutting & Marking 0.3mm & 0.9mm Copper. However, metals like steel and ferrous materials are easier to cut than light or non-ferrous metals like copper or aluminum. The Automatic Focusing Height Follower, developed by Kern Laser Systems, is one of the key elements for optimal metal cutting. This kind of modification uses the laser to preheat the steel while the oxygen catalyzes an exothermic reaction to assist in the cutting. Most laser cutting systems are automated under CNC parameters. 10+ million models from leading OEMs, compatible with all major CAD software systems. July 29, 2015 By Dan Fox 23 Comments. Unlike standard-grade or carbon steel, aluminum and stainless steel are light-reflective and heat-conductive metals, so it can be difficult to fabricate them using a laser cutting process. Laser metal cutting can create many interesting shapes from metal, such as is shown in the image above, {"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"Which type of laser should you use to cut metal? Also, gas laser cutters can’t work well with reflective metals, as the beam is reflected back at the machine, whereas a fiber laser doesn’t have this problem. The metal cutting option allows for accurate cutting of sheet metals like stainless steel, mild steel, aluminum, copper and brass. The material being cut often dictates the type of laser used in fabrication, making it important to match equipment specifications with forming stock. This is why we’ve chosen to manufacture and develop fiber lasers here at SPI Lasers, with both Pulsed and Continuous Wave (CW) machines. We’ve discussed more on the cutting of silver with lasers here, as well as looking at a specific example of the laser cutting of 1mm thick silver here. Image credits: Sergei Akulich, Kaboompics // Karolina, Athena Lam and Maximilian Frank. California Do Not Track Notice. In addition, some CNC lasers are equipped with sensory units that can adjust the distance between the cutting head and the workpiece to reduce the potential for warping. Some CNC programs offer “flying optics” capabilities that allow a laser to shape material while the cutting head is in motion. Many organizations, such as the Laser Institute of America and Laserlab Europe, conduct ongoing research to determine the best standard practices and optimal laser applications for a range of materials. There are three types of cutting processes that you can use to cut metal with a laser; gas, crystal and fiber . As so many other innovations, it adds to the improved sleekness and durability of many new computer parts. Gas cutting is conducted with a carbon dioxide or nitrogen mixture, and crystal cutting, is conducted using nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) and nd:YVO (neodymium-doped yttrium ortho-vanadate) crystals. Laser-cut sheet metal baskets can have incredibly intricate shapes cut into them to meet specific needs. If you enjoyed reading this article, why not register for future articles? Using a laser cutter for metal can be a bit tricky. We’ve discussed more on the cutting of silver with lasers here, as well as looking at a specific example of the laser cutting of 1mm thick silver here."}}]}. We would therefore recommend fiber lasers for your metal applications! Anything above this, it may need multiple passes, but will still deliver a smooth cut either way.\n\nWe have written about the laser cutting of copper here, to show the result of the cutting of a butterfly shape into a thin plate of copper. As mentioned above, some lasers have trouble with cutting reflective metals due to flashback damage, where the laser beam is reflected back into the lasers Beam Delivery Optic (BDO) itself. Using gases in conjunction with cutting operations is fairly common. Crystal lasers are good for metal cutting, but you would typically only use this process where high power is needed, probably for very thick metal. Copper can be cut relatively easily with laser cutting. Laser cutting is an extremely valuable invention that has arisen from the past half-century. A possible solution for laser cut aluminum and laser cut steel, involves the use of a higher power setting coupled with compressed gas technology. From $700 at Kickstarter You’ll commonly find this type of steel in a range of industries, such as the automotive and aerospace industries, and is key to forming the bodies and structures of the vehicle and aircraft. Website Last Modified January 9, 2021. Subscribe to regular updates from SPI Lasers here. However, reflective metals are commonly found in the manufacturing process, and it is important to be able to cut them efficiently and effectively. Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies? Alongside this, a fiber laser is much less expensive to run, having a long service life of around 25,000 hours, rarely needing maintenance, and only requiring cheap replacement parts should they be needed. The model is an excellent tool if you need to cut wood, MDF, acrylic, cardboard, vinyl, leather, even pleated and powder-coated metal while on maximum speed (although it won’t cut it as nicely as wood). Unlike old school plasma cutting, fiber laser can cut stainless steel and aluminum which means new generation grates can be lighter or resist corrosion without any special coatings. It is not recommended to … You can read more on the making of Tower Bridge and the dragon here.\n\nCutting of steel\nSteel is one of the most common metals used by industries around the world, and so is one of the most crucial to manufacturing processes. Metal laser cutting machine adopts high-precision cutting head, it can cut metal and non-metal materials. In conclusion, fiber laser cutting machines are superior to most CO2 laser metal cutting machines when your steel plate is pre-coated with paints and some specialty coatings. However, a laser cutter works extremely well for engraving metal. You can see two videos of the laser cutting of steel here: Copper is an extremely useful metal thanks to its conductive abilities for electrical currents, alongside other reflective metals such as gold and silver. A gas laser cutting machine can generally cut quicker than a fiber laser, but this only applies to thick metals; for thin metals fiber lasers are quicker.\n\nFurthermore, when using a gas laser, there is a much higher risk of damaging the metals that you are working with. However, comparing this to the fiber laser cutting process, the latter is more advantageous when it comes to cutting metal. These computer controls enable high levels of precision and increased cutting speed. What metals can be laser cut and engraved? As mentioned previously, the total control that a laser metal engraver provides means that it can be adapted to work with various materials, as well as with various types of metal too. ico-arrow-default-right. Laser cutters can cut all types of metals, from mild steel to stainless and also non-ferrous metals. The above six points are the main reasons why the fiber laser cutting machine cannot cut through. 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