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Encyclopedia > Laser cutting

Laser cutting is a technology which uses a laser to cut materials, and is usually used in industrial manufacturing. // Experiment using a (likely argon) laser. ...


Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high power laser at the material to be cut. The material then either melts, burns or vaporizes away leaving an edge with a high quality surface finish.


Advantages of laser cutting over mechanical cutting vary according to the situation, but important factors are: lack of physical contact (since there is no cutting edge which can become contaminated by the material or contaminate the material), and to some extent precision (since there is no wear on the laser). There is also a reduced chance of warping the material that is being cut as laser systems have a small heat affected zone. Some materials are also very difficult or impossible to cut by more traditional means[1]. Disadvantages of laser cutting may include the high energy required.


The most popular lasers for cutting materials are CO2 and Nd:YAG, though semiconductor lasers are gaining prominence due to greater efficiency.


Industrial laser cutters are used to cut flat-sheet material as well as structural and piping materials. Some 6-axis lasers can perform cutting operations on parts that have been pre-formed by casting or machining. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A lathe is a common tool used in machining. ...


Laser cutters usually work much like a milling machine would for working a sheet in that the laser (equivalent to the mill) enters through the side of the sheet and cuts it through the axis of the beam. In order to be able to start cutting from somewhere else than the edge, a pierce is done before every cut. Piercing usually involves a high power pulsating laser beam which slowly (taking around 5-15 seconds for half inch Stainless Steel, for example) makes a hole in the material. Cutters for a milling machine. ...


There are generally three different types of industrial laser cutting machines. Flying Optics lasers usually feature a stationary X and Y axis table where the cutting laser moves over the work piece in both of the horizontal dimensions. Flying Optics is popular due to the low cost of stationary tables, and their higher cutting speed limits, since the mass of the optics is much smaller than the mass of the table. A coordinate axis is one of a set of vectors that defines a coordinate system. ...


Both Hybrid and Pivot-Beam lasers usually involve a table which has the capability of X axis travel. Because of this, the head has to move only in two directions (usually the ones with the shortest runs), thus improving its efficiency, as the path traveled is shorter. Pivot-Beam lasers offer the highest performance per watt and the most reliable cut consistency of the three styles. // In biology, hybrid has two meanings. ...


Pulsed lasers which provide a high power burst of energy for a short period are very effective in some laser cutting processes, particularly for piercing, or when very small holes or very low cutting speeds are required, since if a constant laser beam were used, the heat could reach the point of melting the whole piece being cut. The range of sizes in which lasers exist is immense, extending from microscopic diode lasers (top) to football field sized neodymium glass lasers (bottom) used for inertial confinement fusion. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Laser Cutting (358 words)
The laser beam is typically 0.2 mm (0.008 in) diameter at the cutting surface with a power of 1000 to 2000 watts.
Laser cutting takes direct input in the form of electronic data from a CAD drawing to produce flat form parts of great complexity.
Lasers cut by melting the material in the beam path.
Laser cutting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (480 words)
Laser cutting is a technology which uses a laser to cut materials, and is usually used in industrial manufacturing.
Advantages of laser cutting over mechanical cutting vary according to the situation, but important factors are: lack of physical contact (since there is no cutting edge which can become contaminated by the material or contaminate the material), and to some extent precision (since there is no wear on the laser).
Laser cutters usually work much like a milling machine would for working a sheet in that the laser (equivalent to the mill) enters through the side of the sheet and cuts it through the axis of the beam.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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