Laser cutting services are employed in the fabrication and manufacture of parts and components throughout many industrial sectors. The process extends beyond simply cutting material via slicing, vaporizing, and melting through surfaces. Laser cutters are used for such intricate industrial manufacturing applications as machining and micromachining, and techniques like laser drilling, welding, etching, and engraving. Laser cutting services are instrumental in micro-technology and electronic applications, too, where many parts and components require microscopic tolerances and meticulous accuracy. Industries ranging from aerospace, electronics, communications, architecture, and automotive to agriculture, medical devices, metalworking and building trades, construction, HVAC, and many other fields, all rely on laser cutting services.
The Process of Laser Cutting
Laser cutting is a process of material removal that utilizes the thermal energy of a laser beam to shape and separate parts into pieces. In metal fabrication, laser cutting processes are exceptionally ideal for difficult-to-cut applications. The smooth finish and accuracy achieved by laser cutting machines is a result of its integration with CNC technology (computer numerical control). Computer-aided-design (CAD) and computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) systems convert design files and implement them into any workpiece. Once programmed, the CNC laser tool moves the laser beam over the surface along a predefined path, cutting delicate shapes, performing elaborate or basic cuts, and intricate designs on material surfaces.
The main parts of a laser cutter are the laser itself, the shutter control, the beam’s delivery unit, a coaxial nozzle, and focusing optics. Materials are cut with precision, the kerf width is minimal, and the surface finish is smooth.
The Benefits of Laser Cutting Services
Laser cutting’s popularity has increased over the past several decades as technology has improved and expanded. The entire process has spurred greater application of laser cutting services. Industries have benefited in large part due to the technology offering a combination of increased precision with the capabilities to meet the most demanding fabrication challenges. The degree of accuracy and complexity in cutting patterns, contours, designs, and shapes is unparalleled. Yet laser cutting is also able to produce high-quality finished products with exceptional efficiency. In terms of production, it is cost-effective and time-saving, too.
Laser cutting services offer limitless design possibilities for industries that were once near impossible to achieve and deliver. The detailed, extremely precise cuts also reduce material waste which benefits the bottom line. Laser cutting offers high levels of repeat accuracy, too, consistently producing high-quality, close-tolerance parts, components, and assemblies for industries it serves.
The design requirements of parts and components have greatly expanded over the last decades. Many assemblies require much smaller and more intricate components that laser cutting presents the perfect solution for. Today, laser cutting services are used by manufacturers for cutting and welding metals to drilling holes in PCB boards. Lasers can cut, join, and subtract material—even add material through laser metal deposition or 3D printing.
Common Industries That Utilize Laser Cutting Services
Laser cutting services support a large number of industries such as electronics and communications, manufacture of medical devices and equipment, parts for agricultural machinery, and innovative architectural designs, and many others. Three of the more common industries include automotive, aerospace, and renewable energy.
One of the more prominent industries that have benefited from laser cutting services is the automotive industry. It has adapted laser technology to deliver intricate cuts and perform extremely precise smooth-edged finishes to parts. Automobiles designs and manufacturing requires much smaller, intricate parts and components, with high repeatability that only laser cutting can produce. Laser cutting substantially reduces material waste and delivers a superior finished product.
The aerospace industry is another that uses laser cutting services in the fabrication of components that require precision parts, gaskets, solar cells, nozzles, and circuit boards. Because of the large-scale nature of the industry, laser cutting’s cost-cutting attributes have proven invaluable, with the manufacture of commercial aircraft and space exploration project costs managed much more efficiently.
The renewable energy sector is another area of the industry that relies on laser cutting services, necessary for the fabrication of parts and components for solar, wind, and geothermal energy products. Solar power systems are made with fabricated components like frames, posts, connectors, trackers, and so on. Wind energy requires the fabrication and manufacturing of parts and components for the construction of wind turbines. Geothermal HVAC heating and cooling systems employ fabricated manufactured parts produced through laser cutting to manage systems like heat exchangers, condensers, pumps, valves, housings, and more.