Factors to Consider When Choosing a Laser Cutting Solution

A laser is a type of laser that cuts materials by delivering a beam of intense light. Its flexibility, accuracy, and speed make it an ideal solution for many industries, including aerospace, general manufacturing, electronics, and medical fields. When choosing a laser to cut a piece of material, you should consider certain factors, including the materials to be cut, the kerf, and the limits of the power supply. Listed below are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a laser cutting services for your next project.

Limit

Although laser cutting has numerous benefits, there are some limitations, too. While the range of materials it can cut is virtually unlimited, its operation can be influenced by the thickness of the material. Most medical cutting applications use pulse mode, which is required when the parts must have high tolerance and fine feature sizes. The frequency and duration of the pulses determine the speed of the cut and the maximum material thickness that can be achieved. For the best results, it is important to have a skilled operator perform the cutting process.

Precision

The accuracy of laser-cutting products is dependent on many factors, including the materials being cut. The smoother the material is, the more accurate the cut will be. Different materials also require different laser settings, as a smaller spot size means a less accurate cut. The power of the beam will also vary, and you must know the settings for each material you’re cutting. Thicker materials require a higher power setting. You can choose to use a higher or lower power setting, depending on the materials you’re working with.

Power consumption

The power consumption of laser cutting machines is largely influenced by their productivity. For example, a four-kW laser may require 100 EUR per hour of operation. The total operating cost of a laser cutting machine includes the costs for labor, the operating cost of the laser itself, and payments and depreciation. A higher-powered laser can complete more work in less time and generate more profit. A high-powered laser should be used only for cutting small, intricate items.

Materials cut

Choosing the right material for laser cutting can be tricky, but the following are some of the best materials for this process. Most acrylic is cut very smoothly and tastes like Lexan. You can also test it out by bending a small piece, while polycarbonate is slightly bendable and will break if cut too thickly. Although some plastics are dangerous to cut, you can learn how to identify them from Make’s How-To.

Cost

If you are considering getting a laser cut part for your product, the cost will depend on the overall time it takes to complete the job. The overall rate per minute is determined by the type of laser used and its complexity. This rate is multiplied by the total time to calculate the final price. In order to determine the overall cost of laser cutting, use a time calculator. This will give you an idea of what to expect. Also, the more time you need to complete the project, the more the overall cost will be.

Operating a laser cutter

To become a laser operator, you should have at least a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may also require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. You should wear eye protection when operating a laser cutter, as the debris from the beam can cause severe eye irritation or even blindness. You should also follow all safety procedures posted around the Fabrication Lab. Safety procedures include knowing the location of fire extinguishers and emergency stop buttons. Lastly, you should always clean up the work area, including the bed, and not try to lift the grid, as this can cause severe burns.

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