Laser Cutting & Laser Cutting Companies
Laser cutting is a low-distortion hot cutting process that most commonly uses a CO2 laser for the cutting of material, which is usually metal. “Laser” is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The beam of the laser is an extremely focused radiation of a wavelength, meaning the beam will not dissipate like conventional light beams.
The focused beam of a laser makes it well suited for the energy transfer necessary to cut metal by melting or burning the material along a cut line. Assist gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide is used in conjunction with laser cutting to prepare newly cut surfaces for painting or corrosion resistance. An example of the gas assist laser technique is CO2 laser cutting, and it is considered the most powerful wave laser. A laser cutter is often controlled through a precision program combination of CNC and CAD computer systems. CNC systems use CAD designs to input all the necessary machining details into a computer program that then fully directs the laser cutting process, requiring a minimal staff to simply oversee the production and make sure the machines are well maintained. Lasers that are used for cutting may also be used to create patterns and holes in other laser machining and laser micromachining services such as laser drilling and laser welding. Other common laser marking processes include laser etching and laser engraving. Many manufacturers of laser cut products are able to offer custom laser cutting, which is used when the design is too complex or intricate to cut by hand.
Some Leading Manufacturers
Maple Grove, MN | 763-425-4755
Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. has over 23 years of industry experience! We offer high quality, precision laser cutting services! We use computer-controlled Lumonics Screen Cut lasers to cut stencils and thin foil parts! We can cut materials like stainless steel, titanium, nickel, datum alloy, and more! Visit our website or call one of our representatives today for more information about our laser cutting services!
Waukesha, WI | 262-524-9100
Wisconsin Metal Parts is your “single source solution” for all of your custom manufacturing needs! We’ve provided high quality manufacturing services since 1988, and we continue to offer our customers state-of-the-art laser cutting technology. Our fiber lasers are some of the fastest in the industry, which means we can provide quick turnarounds on your manufacturing needs. From prototype to production, you can count on us for the best!
San Fernando, CA | 800-297-3344
Miller Gasket Company is a full service manufacturer of all kinds of gaskets and seals, providing a broad range of custom cutting services. Utilizing both 2 and 6-axis laser cutting systems, we can manufacture a multitude of shapes, ranging from simple 2D shapes to complex 3D parts. Our talented group of designers and engineers will work with you from product development to final production to deliver a product that satisfies! Call us today or visit us online!
Tamaqua, PA | 888-218-2260
Remaly Manufacturing Company, Inc. has state of the art equipment for all your laser cutting needs! Our laser cutting machinery can process materials like steel, aluminum, stainless steel, monel, and many more! We can handle thing gauge material up-through 1/2″ thick plate! Our many years of industry experience have helped us meet your expectations at an affordable price. Call us today or visit our website to learn more!
Many manufacturing industries, particularly in microtechnology and electronics, depend on laser cutting’s microscopic tolerances and precision accuracy to fabricate small, intricate parts. Medical devices use laser cutting to drill catheter holes, hypo-tubes, gas flow orifices and filtering devices, all of which must be perfect since lives depend on them being so. Laser cutting is also used in many manufacturing industries to fabricate precision parts, nozzles, solar cells, gaskets and circuit boards for aerospace and automotive markets. Cell phone parts, computer microchips, transducers and many types of military and communication devices are made with precision laser cut parts. While laser cutters cannot cut through thick metals or create three dimensional shapes in metal plates like water jet cutters can, laser cutters offer tolerances more precise than any other cutting method, with lower edge distortion than most. Many systems we depend upon on a daily basis, such as water piping and refrigeration systems require parts mass manufactured by laser cutting tools.
Using lasers to cut and machine metal has distinct advantages over conventional cutting processes such as thermal machining, mechanical machining, arc welding, EDM and flame cutting. Excellent control of the laser beam with a stable motion system achieves an extreme edge quality. Laser-cut parts have a condition of nearly zero edge deformation, roll-off or edge factor, leaving very little burring on part edges. Laser cutters have higher accuracy rates over any other metal cutting method, with smaller slicing widths and slightly higher precision tolerances than even water jet cutting. Laser cutting is faster than conventional tool-making techniques and has a quicker turnaround for parts regardless of complexity because design changes can be easily accommodated. The use of CNC machining allows for fewer technicians and ensures safety, unlike arc welding, which can be dangerous for the welder and requires individual workers for each piece. Many different kinds of laser cutting services are available, all of which make highly efficient use of materials, creating little waste.
Laser cutting does have a few disadvantages, most of which involve the drawbacks of hot cutting. The material being cut gets very hot, so in narrow areas thermal expansion and warping may be a problem. Distortion and oxidation can be caused by oxygen, which is sometimes used as an assist gas, because it puts stress into the cut edge of some materials; this is typically a problem in dense hole patterns. Lasers also require large amounts of energy, making them more costly to run. Lasers are not very effective on metals such as aluminum and copper alloys due to their ability to reflect light as well as absorb and conduct heat, nor can laser cutting be used on crystal, glass or any other non-metals. Lasers, even low-powered ones, are potentially hazardous to a person’s eyesight. The laser beam can focus on an extremely small spot on the retina, causing permanent burn damage in seconds. Infrared and ultraviolet lasers are even more dangerous because the “blink reflex” protects the eyes only if the light can be seen. Although laser cutting and laser cutting services do not offer quite as much cost efficiency as cold water jet cutting, nor do they offer the completely bur-free finished edging of water jet cutting processes, laser cutting is capable of creating tighter accuracies on a smaller scale than any other type of metal cutting process.