Laser cutting is a complex industrial technology used to precisely and efficiently slice metals and other materials into desired shapes and sizes for a range of manufacturing applications. The laser-cutting process leverages a high-powered laser to burn, melt away, or vaporize undesired materials, leaving behind a high-quality, surface-finished edge.
How Accurate Is Laser Cutting?
Laser cutting is an efficient, safe, and extremely accurate method compared to other traditional sheet metal-cutting techniques. The laser-cutting process leverages a computer-operated program to carefully cut materials within an acceptable accuracy range. The laser-cutting process can also be integrated with CAD software that guides the laser to make its cuts. Ideally, laser cutting can focus on about 25 microns, which is about ¼ of the width of a strand of human hair. Additionally, the cut width can be extremely small, at less than 0.001 inches. On the other hand, the dimensional accuracy is typically quite precise, at about ± 0.0005 inches.
What Makes Laser Cutting So Accurate?
Since it is computer-guided, laser cutting ensures outstanding precision and enhanced safety when making cuts. Some of the features that make laser cutting extremely accurate include:
- Coherent Photons: The laser-cutting mechanisms leverage a consistent stream of photons synchronized to one steady and intense energy beam to increase preciseness. The steady beam of lights fastidiously slices through metal, glass, and more.
- Low Laser-Cutting Tolerances: The resultant cuts with laser-cutting mechanisms typically boast a very low range of variation from the intended design. Compared to manual cutting, the laser is a lot faster and more exact, with guaranteed identical and rapid cuts each time.
- Fiber Optics Precision: Modern and advanced laser cutters leverage fiber optic lenses to guide and control the laser positioning from the laser head. This ensures the point of precision is much clearer and more direct for the laser beam.
- Less Damage to Material: Compared with other methods, laser cutting doesn’t damage the material surrounding the cut because the laser beam doesn’t directly contact your material. Ideally, it is the heat that is cutting the material. Less material damage ensures more consistent results.
- High Intricacy: Laser-cutting machines are ideal for undertaking highly intricate and detailed work due to their guaranteed fidelity, unmatched control, and low tolerance.
Factors That Affect Laser Cutting Accuracy
To achieve a higher level of impeccability with laser cutting, consider the following factors:
- Material Type: A smoother or thinner material can give you a more exact cut. You should use appropriate machine settings for each type of material and material composition.
- Laser Beam Spot Size: Using a smaller laser beam spot size guarantees more meticulous cuts compared to wider spot sizes.
- Laser Power Level: Consider using more powerful laser beams with higher intensity to cut through thicker materials for flawless, even cuts.
- Workbench Accuracy: How you position the workpiece material on the bench can also affect the veracity of the cuts. A workbench that is not well stabilized can cause vibrations, making the process lose its fidelity to the original design.
Contact JTV Manufacturing for Laser Cutting Services
Laser cutting clearly offers several advantages over traditional cutting techniques. In addition to extreme precision, laser cutting also guarantees low lead times, reduced waste, decreased costs, and the ability to handle even the most complex jobs, thanks to its unparalleled exactitude and amazingly low tolerance levels. JTV Manufacturing boasts state-of-the-art laser-cutting services for customers in a variety of demanding industries. Our experts focus on delivering world-class quality at competitive prices. Contact us today for a quote.