Laser cutting is one of the most precise and preferred methods of cutting raw materials today. If you don't want to invest in a laser cutter for your own production facility, you might bring your pieces to a laser cutting service to have them cut and fabricated for you. Note a few questions you might have about this process and then discuss them with a cutting services contractor if you still need more information.
1. What materials can be cut with a laser?
This will usually depend on the company providing the services, but typically any type of metal can be cut with a laser, including steel, brass, and aluminum. Many cutting services providers will also be able to cut various forms of plastic and wood, since the laser produces little to no heat so it won't damage the surface or cause any type of melting. If your material has a particular type of coating already applied, note that most acrylics can also be cut so your coating shouldn't be damaged or interfere with the cutting process.
2. Does a laser burn materials to cut them?
A laser actually vaporizes materials to cut them. The only types of lasers that may burn materials are those that are not very powerful and which may take longer for the vaporization process; in turn, heat may build up, and from this heat material might get singed or burned. Choosing a high-quality laser cutting services provider should avoid this problem as they will offer a strong, concentrated laser that quickly vaporizes material without the risk of heat or burning.
3. Why use laser versus standard cutting?
A laser cut is very repeatable; if you need a precise cut again and again with no distortion, using a computer-guided laser can be the best choice. The vaporization process also doesn't leave burrs behind, so lasers offer a smooth surface after cutting. This efficiency also means less scrap or waste after cutting, so there is no need for collecting and recycling this scrap and less cost for new materials since there is little wasted in the cutting process. Additionally, since lasers can easily cut through a variety of materials, your cutting may be done more quickly if you need more than one type of material to be cut. There is no changing of the saw blades or other such attachments such as you would experience when using standard cutting processes for wood, metal, and the like.