5 Tips to Engrave and Cut Metal with a Laser Cutting Machineby James Smith Business
Laser cutting metal is one of the best uses of the CNC machine. The computer controlled cutting process allows the machinist to turn out perfect work every time. There are little downtime and much less human error when the machine is used correctly and on appropriate materials. However, nothing is foolproof, and these machines operate as every other system does.
This means that if you have an imperfection or error in materials or commands, you are going to get a run of metal goods that are destined for the dumpster rather than a customer. Junk runs drive up costs, waste materials, time, and effort. By updating and upgrading your equipment, you can cut down on or eliminate junk runs and the consequences. You need to keep a few things in mind before deploying your metal laser cutting machine.
Understand your materials. Cutting aluminum plate, reinforced titanium, and stainless steel are as different as apples, baseballs, and doorknobs. They have some properties in common, but you can't use the same techniques with all of them. Cutting metal with a fiber laser saves a lot of time, money, and preparation, but you still need to understand how the metals will react to the laser.
CO2 or Fiber Laser? Fiber lasers should be the first choice for cutting metal, CO2 lasers used to be the first choice but can take a lot of prep time that could otherwise be put into production. CO2 lasers are better used on softer materials and metals instead of on stainless or titanium.
Related Read: How does a metal laser cutting machine work?
How thick? One of the issues with laser metal cutting is that the fiber laser is not a lightsaber. Machinists need to take into account that when cutting materials with a thickness of over 1 or 1.25 inches, that oxy flame cutting is the best idea. For thicknesses of 1 inch and under, more accurate results can be attained and repeated with a fiber laser than with plasma cutting.
Cut back on after-cut processes like polishing the dross off the back side of the cut. The fiber laser makes clean cuts with little to no heat effect, kerfing, or dross.
Design: Don't be afraid to design small or complex parts. Laser accuracy, especially fiber laser is used to precisely engineer watch parts. The small and complex components of watches from Timex to Rolex come out of fiber laser machines.
Likewise, laser metal cutting CNC machines can work on large sheets of metal, tiny watch or medical device parts, and anything in between. Find out what a fiber laser CNC machine can do to improve speed, accuracy, and time considerations in your production processes.
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Created on Jan 31st 2018 05:31. Viewed 636 times.
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