Laser cutting is essential to our booming economy. Innovative ideas are everywhere, and they require advanced fabrication techniques. Meanwhile, operating a custom metal manufacturing company means always having access to the best metal laser cutting machine. But how do you choose the right services for your project?
Laser Cutting: An Overview
Laser cutting is an umbrella term used to describe sophisticated manufacturing processes. Operators use high-powered lasers to cut various materials into complex shapes based on a blueprint. Modern CNC machine shops also rely on laser cutters to manufacture innovative designs.
These processes can help shorten lead times, cut costs, and produce excellent outcomes. Thus, most competitive manufacturing companies require laser cutting services to satisfy industry demands. Understanding the different types of machines and methodologies can help project managers choose the right approach.
Laser Cutting Machine Types
Metal fabrication typically involves one of the following laser cutting machine types:
Rotary laser cutting consists of slicing steel pipes and tubes. Operators frequently use it instead of sawing or milling metals because it significantly reduces production costs and eliminates waste. Rotary lasers are also perfect for fabricating round, elliptical, rectangular, or D-type workpieces.
FACT: This method is prized for its speed and accuracy.
Robotic laser cutting uses advanced 3D technology to fabricate metal parts. It can also enhance material flexibility and provide optimal power control. Moreover, operators can access and monitor this process from anywhere in the shop, helping to further reduce lead times and production costs.
FACT: This option uses a multi-axis mechanical arm to deliver precision results.
#3. Small Format
Small format laser cutting works best with soft metals and nonmetals. It uses an adjustable 3-axis laser to cut through thick workpieces without sacrificing accuracy. Operators can tweak the height and width to produce high-quality metal parts ahead of schedule.
FACT: This method requires very little maintenance from the engineering team.
With 5-axis laser cutting, the machines can create a three-dimensional profile or cut workpieces into two-dimensional sheets. Unlike a 3-axis laser, teams achieve more complex geometries while protecting project integrity. These rigs are also more powerful, versatile, and durable than the others.
FACT: This option helps engineers fabricate hard-to-reach angles.
#5. Large Format
A large-format metal laser cutting machine can render two-dimensional profiles on a massive scale. These high-quality sheet metal fabrication rigs are preferred for highly regulated industries, such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and agricultural.
FACT: This technique is perfect for making signage and ship components.
KRYTON Engineered Metals offers multiple metal laser cutting services to suit the evolving needs of several industries. Experts can help you choose the best approach for cost-effectiveness and high-quality outcomes. Reach out or request a quote for more information.
How to Choose the Right Laser Cutting for Your Project
Choosing the right laser cutting type for your manufacturing project can be tricky. It’s best to consult a sheet metal fabrication company first because multiple factors can determine the best method. Material properties, lead times, tolerances, and other concerns are essential to getting precision results.
Prepare for a detailed discussion about your project goals and budget objectives. Here is what your team will want to know:
#1. The Material List
Determine which materials you need to complete the order. Then find out which processes work best for your design. Engineers may have to create a tailored strategy for custom metal parts. Picking aluminum or stainless steel could save money but might not be the best answer.
#2. The Cutting Speed
Your metal fabrication shop should know how fast to cut metals to produce a specific outcome. However, many factors could alter the process, so prepare for minor changes to the plan. Also, don’t be surprised if your team has to use multiple laser cutting methods to complete your project.
#3. The Maintenance Costs
Consider how much it will cost to produce the metal components required. Some laser cutting services cost more than others, but you can’t cut corners and expect excellent results. Talk to your team about more efficient ways to save time and money with high-quality techniques.
Also, be ready to explain the intentions of your design. Engineers might have to include or exclude specific elements to satisfy ISO regulations for metal fabrication. Ask for more details to determine the scope and scale of your project.
Laser cutting services help support innovative designs with durable materials that exceed industry standards. Choose the correct process for your metal fabrication projects and reap the benefits of efficient manufacturing.