When you need a part or shape cut from a piece of metal, there are many ways you can do it. Cutting out hundreds of the same components can be a bit more challenging, but there is a process that can make producing those parts easier and more efficient.
When dealing with a metal plate and needing to cut a specific shape out of it, several methods work well. A cutting torch, plasma cutter, or a water jet can all cut the parts out of the metal, but the quality is different.
An alternative to all of those methods is laser cutting, and it not only produces a clean edge and a smooth cut, it does it quickly and uses a computer to determine the cutting path so it can repeat the process as often as you need it to. Laser cutting can be used for many things and on many materials. For companies that are mass-producing parts for a product, a part that does not need a lot of clean-up or extra finishing after it is cut out can increase the efficiency of the company.
Heat Range and Materials
Laser cutting machines will cut steel up to about four inches thick, but material thinker than that requires too much power and heat for the process to work efficiently. The laser's temperature range will determine how well the laser will cut the steel. At the top of the heat range, it is possible that the laser could make multiple passes over the work to cut through more substantial material, but most laser manufacturers do not recommend it.
Lighter material like aluminum, brass, copper, and even sheet metal can be cut with laser cutting. Still, the laser's temperature and intensity need to be much lower than for tool or mild steel. If the temperature is too high, the material can melt, and the cuts will not be as clean as you need them to be.
Laser Cutting Services
If the idea of running a laser cutting machine in your shop is more than you want to entertain, you can work with a laser cutting service to produce the parts you need for you. A laser cutting service will have the machines and the experience to ensure that you get the parts you need, with the quality you are looking for.
Talk with the service about your needs and the volume of parts you require, and they will let you know if they can handle the volume and timeline for your job.
If you have more questions, reach out to a laser cutting service in your area.