Without the development of new technology, today’s modern industry would not be possible. When it comes to products that need finishing, this is also the case. Most of these jobs need cutting, which may be accomplished with the help of advanced laser technology. This method involves using a laser beam to cut through the material with the assistance of inert gas, which speeds up the cutting process. Laser cutting technology is now pervasive and indispensable to the operations of various business sectors.
How do Laser Cutting Machines work?
In the modern manufacturing industry, there’s extensive use of computer numerical control equipment to increase efficiency throughout the production process. One of the procedures that these machines engage in is laser cutting. There are also other procedures. After converting the digitalized drawing into a computer language, the most fundamental step in the operation of any computer numerical control machine is issuing commands.
Laser cutting machines have computer numerical controls (CNC) settings, in addition to laser optics, which control and direct the intensity of the laser beam for the intended effect on a design or the exact cuts necessary in a manufacturing or design project. The laser beam is generated through a process in which electrical discharges or a lamp are used to trigger a lasing substance inside a confined container. This causes a chemical reaction, which in turn results in the production of a powerful beam. The light beam is focused at its narrowest point, either cutting through the material or etching the design into it. After that, a mirror reflects the shaft, resulting in a stream of light with a single color. Following its reflection off the mirror, the light is guided to the work area by fiber optics or mirrors.
The Use of Laser Cutting Technology
The use of laser cutting is similar to any other type of technical service in that it has both benefits and drawbacks. Laser beam technology is utilized extensively to cut various materials, including paper, metal, plastic, wood, leather, and chiffon. Laser cutters simplify the cutting and engraving on sheets of varying dimensions. Laser cutters are used for everything from manufacturing intricate architectural elements to developing one-of-a-kind objects for use in exhibitions, events, or photo shoots. In both big and small quantities, manufacturing individualized products for the jewelry and fashion industries, such as badges, invitation cards, and patterns.
Let’s have a look at what they are.
Disadvantages of Laser Cutting
Precision and Quality
The high accuracy and nature of the material, or the high quality after it has been cut, is one of the guiding principles of this cutting technology. The precision has significantly increased thanks to developments in CNC technology and enhancements to the laser shaper head. Along with a high level of accuracy, the benefit tied to the cutting time is reduced to an ever-smaller amount.
Low Cost and More Affordable
One of the benefits that come along with using laser technology is the economic advantage that it has over other CNC machines of the same caliber. With laser cutting technology, there is no requirement to construct a one-of-a-kind tool. Because no additional cutting tools are required, there is no need for you to change the device in any way for any project. When compared to more conventional instruments used in the manufacturing process, the cost of operating the machine is significantly lower.
Used for Jobs of Vast Complexity
Laser cutters quickly work on various cutting tasks that other cutting technologies may find too challenging to handle. The laser technology can function on even the most delicate edge of a material. Using a laser cutter allows for the rapid production of complex designs; however, there is a possibility that the cut region will undergo some slight bending or distortion. The tolerance level that can be accommodated by laser cutting is rather broad, and it can work with a wide variety of materials.
Laser cutting prevents harm to the material being cut, even when it is very thin. Many consumers tend to believe the false information that warping or destroying the materials is an inevitable side effect of using the equipment. The conventional wisdom holds that the process of laser cutting requires the application of intense heat. This is crucial to keep in mind that heat affects only a limited portion of the material and has no bearing on the tolerance. As a result of the breakneck speed at which the laser cuts through sheets, the amount of time spent cutting is reduced.
Disadvantages of Laser Cutting
Evaporation of Some Materials
When some materials, like plastics, are sliced, evaporation is often a side effect. This is a significant disadvantage associated with the use of laser cutting. Even though this limitation can be worked with, experienced laser cutting machine operators will find it far easier to circumvent it. The qualified technicians make certain adjustments to the gadget’s configurations to eliminate this issue. Nevertheless, the expense of putting these changes into action is costly at the moment.
The amount of power, or energy, required to generate a laser beam is the primary drawback associated with laser cutting. However, given the rapid development and ongoing refinement of laser technology, this deficiency will most likely be remedied soon.
Requires Technical Experts
A trained operator is essential to fully use the equipment’s capabilities and accurately diagnose any issues that may arise. If set up incorrectly, the device will affect the materials, resulting in far more substantial damage to the laser cutting. It is good to employ the services of an operating specialist; nevertheless, this will cost a significant amount of money due to the limited availability of qualified professionals.
Production of Harmful Fumes and Gases
During thermal cutting, any material that melts will release gases and potentially hazardous vapors. When working with plastics, it is customary for these harmful gases to be emitted because of the substance’s nature. One disadvantage of laser cutting is that it is compatible with many different materials.
The Bottom Line
Introducing laser cutting has been a revolutionary step in the manufacturing industry. It finds significant application in various industries, including the automotive and aerospace industries. There are no metrics or statistics to quantify its value, but it’s clear that this new technology will pave the way for even better innovation and productivity as we know them today. You could make the most informed decision for your project if you thoroughly understand the benefits and drawbacks associated with laser cutting.