The metal industry continues to advance and grow. To effectively cut materials into smaller shapes and sizes, the industry needs the best fabrication process. And little fabrication process can’t be compared with laser cutting. This is because these machines provide quality cuts that are near perfection.
An example of an excellent laser engraving machine is Aeon Laser which offers devices that provide quality results. They are also backed by a one-year warranty. This gives customer’s confidence in the equipment that they are purchasing.
Laser engravers promote a process that improves the workforce. This process makes use of a laser beam to achieve its cut. And this process can puncture a variety of materials. Some of the materials include metals, glass, plastic, paper, wood, and gemstone.
The laser beams used for engraving can deliver precise, detailed, and multifaceted parts. With this, there is little need for design tools. As you continue your read, you will find out essential info on quality cutting equipment. You’ll understand how to identify quality equipment. You’ll also find out its advantages and some of its limitations. Let’s get started.
What is Laser Cutting?
The process of laser cutting isn’t complex to understand. It simply involves a process whereby a machine is introduced to produce engravings, cuts, and markings. The different devices used for these features vary. This means that they come in other models and are applied differently. The standard machine for engravings includes the following items:
- A laser resonator assembly
- A cutting head (contains a laser focusing lens, gas assembly, a nozzle)
The beam melts the fabric, whether it be metal or plastic, once it is run through. It is more of melting than cutting. Professionals use the best machine to cut and mark their materials. And as a first-time buyer, there are things to know when shopping for your equipment.
You have to understand that the equipment’s quality depends mainly on its ability to cut. It also depends on its engraving quality. For this reason, ask your provider for a sample cut from the equipment you wish to purchase. Check the quality of work from the sample. And remember to ask your provider for the speed of the equipment. The page here has more on laser cutters, so you get abreast with the procedure.
To provide better info on this, here are things to check when determining the quality of your fabrication instrument:
The laser-cutting sections form vertical lines. The line’s depth determines the roughness of the surface. If the lines are light, then the cutting section would be smooth. A rough surface would suggest low-quality equipment.
The roughness affects the appearance of the material and its friction characteristics. So, there should be very little roughness. The smoother the surface, the higher the quality of the equipment.
Corrosion and Depression
Corrosion and sag can alter the cutting-edge surfaces, thus affecting the quality of the result. Corrosion and depression should be avoided in general. Check that the sample material of your provider isn’t sagged or depressed. If so, the equipment used in the working process isn’t quality.
The cutting width
In general, notch width wouldn’t affect the cutting quality. It might only affect it if the outline of specific precision is formed within the parts. This is because the cutting width decides the outlined minimum inner diameter.
As soon as the plate thickness rises, so also the cutting width will increase. To ensure the high precision is the same, regardless of the incision width, the work piece’s area of work in the equipment should be constant.
If the sheet’s thickness is over 10mm, the vertical degree of the cutting edge is highly essential. When distant from the focus, the laser beam diverges. According to the focus position, the cutting width increase either to the top or bottom.
The cutting edge deviates a couple of millimetres away from the vertical line. The higher the quality of equipment, the steeper the edges of the material.
When cutting thick metals at high speed, the melted metal will not appear in the incision below the beam. Instead, it will be later sprayed out at the beams’ end. Hence, curve lines form at the end of the material. To avoid this, limit the feed rate at the end of the process. This will ultimately reduce forming lines.
A significant factor that influences the quality of the work done is the burr formation. This is because burr removal needs excess workload. Therefore, the amount of burr, as well as the seriousness, are factors judging the quality of work.
During work, the area close to the incision is heated. During this time, the metal structure changes. In this case, most metal will harden. The thermal zone is the depth of the area where the internal stricture gets changed.
During work, if the material parts are heated continually, it deforms. This is most important in fine processing. This is because the outlines are just a couple of millimetres wide. Deformation mustn’t occur during the work process. To avoid this, short laser pulses are introduced. This ensures that the heat of parts is reduced and deformation doesn’t happen.
During the cutting process, the machine sprays a particular layer of oily concentration on the fabric’s surface. It does this before the melting process begins. During this process, the patrons remove the incision due to the vaporization of several materials. However, the downward or upward discharge also forms deposition of the material surface.
Why Should I Use Laser Cutting?
Compared to the various fabrication process out there, laser cutting dishes out several benefits. Some of these include greater precision and accuracy, customization, and more delicate works. Below are the benefits of using this instrument:
- Top-notch edges
- Smaller HAZ
- Little material distortion
- Narrow kerf widths
- Less waste and contamination of material
- Low servicing and repair cost
- better operator safety
Getting Started with Laser Cutters
One of the primary reasons why this instrument is mainly used is because of its non-contact process. This means that the beam doesn’t make contact with the material being worked on. As a result, the material doesn’t get damaged. Also, it provides top-quality cuts that don’t require extensive cleaning or finishing.
What this ultimately does, is save time, energy, and money. These instruments are more accurate and offer more flexibility than more conventional machines. Since they can be CNC controlled, they can produce detailed and intricate parts.
Narrow kerf widths are achieved because of the instrument’s focus beams. The localizing heat it produces encourages minimum thermal input to most of the material being worked in. The narrow kerf ensures that the amount of material removed is limited. The low thermal information ensures the heat-affected zones are minimized. This, in turn, reduces the level of thermal distortion.
Also, the non-contact feature of the instrument’s process reduces the risk of mechanical distortion as well. It also reduces the risk of materials contamination. This is primarily the case for thin or flexible materials. The reduction of material contamination and waste allows for low material cost over time.
The cost of purchasing a laser cutting instrument is on the high side compared to other machines. However, the maintenance and servicing cost is meagre. This is because they are very able to operate on multiple applications with little need for changing parts.
Also, because the instrument doesn’t contact the materials, it is less fatigued. This enables the tool to last a long time hence providing longevity. Matching with the inexpensiveness of the instrument’s components, the durability reduces the equipment cost over time.
Furthermore, laser cutting encourages a lower risk of operator injury. It also promotes a quieter working environment. This, in turn, ensures safety in the workplace as well as improving the workplace environment. You can find more here https://makerdesignlab.com/tutorials-tips/laser-cutting-beginners-guide/ about using laser cutting tools for starters.
Are there any Limitations to Laser Cutting Equipment?
While this instrument offers lots of advantages, there are also a few limitations to its working process, such as:
- Varying production rate
- Range of fit materials
- Metal hardening
- Higher power consumption
- High equipment cost
As initially noted, laser engraving is suitable for various metals and non-metals. Yet, the materials being engraved or worked on doesn’t encourage all engraving mechanism. Furthermore, the thickness of the metal plays a huge role in determining the optimal laser power and focal postilion for the laser engraving application.
Inconsistent thickness within a single metal also alters the speed and depth throughout the engraving process. This, in turn, results in inconsistencies with the production. It also alters the number of works derived in a production time.
These engraving machines might have a low maintenance cost. However, it might also be more cost-effective to use other processes for engraving. The initial cost of purchasing the engraving equipment is also high compared to other engraving machines. Also, these instruments consume more energy compared to other cutting machines. What this does is increase operating costs. This might not be best suited for an operation with a tiny budget.
The flexibility and durability of the laser cutting machine cannot be bested. Using this equipment comes with lots of perks that will ensure productivity. Remember that it is crucial to shop for quality equipment. Research your provider before making any purchase.