Laser cutting has replaced some of the most conventional cutting methods in the fabrication process. A combination of high-powered laser beams, partial mirrors, and gases combine to form modern laser cutting machines. Recent developments have led to laser cutters using CNC technology to cut through steel or piping many inches thick with a smooth cut line and fine detail.
How Laser Cutting Works
Laser cutting directs the output of a high-powered laser via computer toward the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns, vaporizes, or is blown away by a gas jet, leaving the edge with a smooth, high-quality surface finish. Industrial laser cutters can cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials.
At Glenn Metalcraft, we’ve been using our expertise and experience manufacturing a precision laser-cut part that meets our customer’s exact specifications for over 35 years. Need our expertise?
Advantages of Laser Cutting
Laser cutting is versatile and can implement cutting in ways that other machines can’t. Materials that are difficult to cut using other methods make excellent candidates for laser cutting. The advantages of laser cutting include:
- High Accuracy. Accuracy of +/-0.1 mm allows achieving high precision cuts.
- Low lead times. No need to change the setup for cutting a lot of different shapes within the same material thickness.
- Lower power consumption. Cutting speed is faster than traditional mechanical cutting methods resulting in less power consumption.
- Less waste. High processing speed results in a minimal heat-affected zone, ensuring low rates of workpiece distortion.
- Ability to handle complex jobs. Capable of producing custom shapes and complex geometries.
- Consistent part quality. Since laser cutting machines are CNC-controlled, they can repeatedly and consistently produce complex and intricate parts to high tolerances.
- Less damage. Reduced risk of tool marks and surface scratches due to lack of physical contact.
- No need for finishing. High-quality cuts and edges don’t require cleaning, treating, or finishing.
- Suitable for a variety of metals. Laser cutting works on a wide array of metals like Steel, Titanium, Brass, Copper, Nickel, Tungsten, Nickel, Aluminum, etc.
Applications for Laser Cutting
Lasers are a vital part of the automation process across the automotive, electronics, energy, heavy equipment, medical device manufacturing, and tool & die industries. The use of laser cutting in the manufacturing process can significantly reduce overtime on projects and increase productivity.
As vehicles become more advanced, smaller parts need to be precisely cut. The smooth, precise cuts created by a laser allow for less material waste, and the power required for laser cutting is low. The automotive industry has a significant need for exact replicas of parts of different shapes and sizes. Laser cutting cuts metals to form body pieces of the vehicle, electronic components, and interior covers and buttons.
Laser cutting is ideal for cutting complex formed parts. These are usually vital parts that lend support to the structure of the vehicles. Commonly, these pieces create the engine frame or the instrument panels.
The trend toward miniaturization, more efficient use of space and large volume production are highly valued characteristics in the electronics industry. Laser cutting technology can produce the precision and high-speed production required for switching cabinet housing, plug-in units, and the housing of electrical devices.
Changes in building use are increasing the demand for custom solutions for unique purpose buildings, which require flexible machine concepts from manufacturers. Many products used in making air conditioning technology and energy technology are created from sheet metal such as housings, vents, and ductwork.
From large part processing and thick plate cutting to exact and small, intricate parts, laser cutting can be used in many applications to maximize efficiency. Laser cutting provides a cost-effective alternative to building expensive dies to customize pieces.
Laser cutting is an ideal choice for a full range of agricultural, construction, and heavy equipment industry needs. Structural frames, exhaust pipes, driver’s cabs, mounts, blades, and brackets in agricultural and construction machinery are made from sheet metal.
Medical Device Manufacturing
Laser-cut stainless steel is the basis for medical devices and instruments that improve the procedures used with patients. Scalpels, scissors, valve framers, vascular clips, bone reamers, flexible shafts, and hones are all manufactured laser-cut precision parts.
Tool & Die
The laser’s ability to cut different depths of metal makes it ideal for cutting an extremely accurate die for stamping pieces and molds that will endure the repetitive nature of die-cutting. Laser cutting makes replicating the die a quick and precise operation.
Laser cutting can make injection molds with the same accuracy that it does with dies. Laser cutting simplifies mold making and makes reproducing the mold precisely a much less time-consuming and costly endeavor.
Laser Cutting Experts
CNC laser technology allows Glenn Metalcraft to manufacture parts quickly and cost-effectively while maintaining the highest quality standards.
At Glenn Metalcraft, our client relationships are as sturdy as the metal we machine. We forged each one with quality service for the highest quality parts. We take pride in delivering your project ready for use, on time, and within budget.
- Our investment in value-added metal services includes laser, plasma, and 5-axis waterjet cutting.
- GMI was one of the first companies to invest in CNC spin-forming technology. We can machine the thinnest gauge metals up to 1.5” thickness.
- Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to lead the manufacturing industry in high-quality, close-tolerance, heavy-gauge, metal spinning, and CNC machining.
- GMI provides welding to bond alloys with precision onto all weldments.
We are a part of the Elemet Group, offering innovative, one-stop metal fabrication, machining, and industrial coating solutions since 1947. We eliminate the need for external sourcing, which saves you time and money. Our sister companies are:
- Elemet Manufacturing provides precision 5-axis waterjet cutting, large-work envelope CNC machining, Metal Fabrication, Bending & Forming, and welding.
- Minnesota Industrial Coatings is one of few companies that offer Powder Coating and E-coating.
Ready to talk about partnering with us in your product manufacturing project? Get in Touch.