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Top 6 Reasons to Use Laser Cutting for Sheet Metal Fabrication

laser cutting metal

Top 6 Reasons to Use Laser Cutting for Sheet Metal Fabrication

There are many ways to cut sheet metal, and whether you need metal fabrication for a single custom part, a small order, or a full-scale industrial process, it’s always valuable to know what options are available to you at all times. The main reasons for using laser cutting in sheet metal fabrication are the superior precision, efficiency, and speed of laser cutting.
Laser cutting can cut sheet metal very efficiently, and this cutting method offers benefits not available with other sheet metal cutting methods. When selecting a sheet metal cutting process, it is important to compare the capabilities of the selected tool with the project requirements. Laser cutting is often the most efficient option for many sheet metal projects.
Cutting with a laser ensures precise, clean cuts without the need for further processing, saving time and money. Meanwhile, the laser cutting method is ideal for cutting carbon steel and stainless steel sheet metal. We’ve put together a list of reasons why laser cutters are often suitable for sheet metal fabrication projects.
Table of Contents
laser cutting metal

Laser Cutting of Working Principle

Fiber laser cutting is a laser cutting process that utilizes a fiber laser generator to cut materials. It is a high-precision and efficient method for cutting various metal materials. Fiber laser cutting works similarly to traditional laser cutting, with some key differences.
In fiber laser cutting, a laser beam is created by passing a high-power laser through a series of fiber optic cables. Then, the laser beam is guided to the material to be cut through the focusing lens, and the focused laser beam will generate a small but strong heat source, which can quickly heat and evaporate the material, thereby achieving high-precision cutting. The material to be cut is typically placed on a cutting table and the laser is moved across the material to create the desired shape or pattern.
Fiber laser cutting is often preferred over other types of cutting because it requires less maintenance, lasts longer, and is more energy efficient. These factors make it a popular choice for industrial and manufacturing applications, as well as custom manufacturing and prototyping.
laser cutting

Reasons to Use Laser Cutting For Sheet Metal Processing

When choosing a sheet metal cutting process, it is important to match the tool’s capabilities with the project’s requirements. Laser-cutting technology can be used for almost any complex shape you want to cut. Here are 7 main reasons to choose laser cutting for sheet metal processing.

Non-Contact Cutting

Laser cutting is a non-contact process with no physical contact between the cutting tool and the workpiece. Maybe you think that the heat of the material in laser cutting could cause the part to warp or deform or even be completely damaged. But that’s not really the case, there is minimal tool wear, noise, and vibration during laser cutting, and there is no threat to the features or tolerances of the workpiece.
In addition, the non-contact nature of laser cutting eliminates the risk of mechanical stress in the material, which is often caused by wear between the tool and the workpiece.

High Quality And High Precision

Laser cutting machines usually have integrated CNC technology, and with a laser cutting machine, you can make the smallest possible cuts within the tightest tolerances. Laser beams cut metal with extremely fine precision, with tolerance levels of around 1 to 3 millimeters for some die-cutting tools, and down to 0.003 millimeters for laser cutters. And the edge curve of the cut workpiece is smooth, clean, and almost free of burrs, that is, no secondary processing is required.
One of the industries where laser cutting is extremely useful is the medical industry. Various medical devices require high precision and tight dimensional tolerances. Laser cutting is also very accurate, making it a good choice for manufacturing in this industry. Additionally, the process allows for quick and accurate replication of designs. That’s why so many components of orthopedic and cardiovascular equipment rely on laser cutting. Also, something to consider is that laser cutting is a process of melting metal rather than cutting material. Therefore, laser cutting may generate some dross when cutting thicker sheet metal, and may require some extra work to clean up the dross.

Excellent Cutting Speed And Efficiency

Laser cutting can be done faster and more accurately than other cutting methods. Lasers can cut material at speeds of 20-70 inches per minute, depending on the tolerances, material, and complexity of the part. Cutting speeds can be further increased by using multiple laser cutting heads or multiple laser generators working together, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of the cutting process.
In addition to fast cutting speeds, laser cutting machines can run continuously without operator supervision, increasing the overall efficiency of the cutting process. The combination of these factors means that a laser cutter will complete parts faster than other cutting processes.

Low Cost

Like many other processes, the costs associated with laser cutting are determined by labor, machine costs, and materials. Although a laser cutting machine is expensive to purchase, it is more cost-effective compared to other cutting machines. This is because laser cutting is a highly automated process with minimal labor costs compared to manually operated machines. Operating costs are also low compared to other cutting technologies.
Laser cutting is the use of computer numerical control technology (CNC) to realize the cutting of metal sheets. CNC is an automated process where a computer controls a laser to do the work without an operator. The operator only needs to enter the specifications of the workpiece into the control system, and the computer will do the rest.
Since laser-cutting equipment is readily amenable to automation, the laser-cutting process often offers lower labor costs. In addition, the laser does not come into contact with the material being cut, so it does not dull or wear out like other cutting tools. In traditional cutting tools, the blades wear with use and may require additional maintenance and repair costs. Laser-cutting machines don’t have many component parts, so there are fewer maintenance and repair requirements. In general, the operating costs of using a laser cutting machine are low compared to other commonly used manufacturing tools.

Strong Versatility

Unlike other cutting equipment, you can use a laser cutting machine for a variety of cutting functions, from simple cuts to complex cuts, and cuts that require tight tolerances and intricate designs. No matter what the shape, thin or thick material, laser cutting can do it, making many everyday tasks or projects easy. This makes laser cutting an excellent choice for most industries.

Wide Range of Uses

The combination of operating costs, cutting speed, automation and precision make laser cutting an excellent choice for any size product or project. This makes many everyday tasks/projects easy including prototypes, industrial orders, delicate designs, and larger cutouts.
Lasers are capable of making holes, slots, lugs, and other cut structures without interrupting the cutting process. Incredible precision allows tight tolerances to be achieved on intricate detailing. If your project doesn’t require tight tolerances, a laser can move fast and produce parts at incredible speeds. This makes laser cutting an excellent choice for a wide range of projects.

Damage Prevention

There is a misconception that laser cutting metal will cause warping. However, this is incorrect. The heat generated by laser cutting affects only tiny parts of the material and does not affect cutting tolerances
Also, the laser-cutting process is fast, and the laser only heats and melts the portion to be removed. Therefore, the heat does not significantly affect other parts of the material. In most cases, your material will not thermally deform or warp

Summarize

For sheet metal cutting projects laser cutting offers outstanding performance, it is faster, more accurate, and more efficient than traditional sheet metal cutting methods. Laser cutting is also less expensive than other methods of metal fabrication. We strongly recommend the use of laser cutting technology in sheet metal fabrication.
AccTek Laser specializes in the R&D and manufacture of intelligent laser equipment. Our dedicated and experienced team is focused on providing our customers with comprehensive services and innovative manufacturing solutions. Call and speak with an engineer to learn how our laser-cutting machines can benefit your manufacturing needs.
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