Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Cutting

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Laser Cutting
Laser cutting is one of the most precise methods of cutting a design from a variety of different materials. The CNC machine, which does the cutting, is programmed to cut whatever design the client wants. From simple rectangles to precise, intricately designed pieces, laser cutting is your best option for most applications.

CO2 Laser Cutting
CO2 lasers are the highest-power continuous wave lasers that are available on the market. Because of their high power, they are ideal for cutting and boring. CO2 lasers are also excellent for engraving, which can be achieved by reducing the resonator output power. CO2 lasers are efficient when compared to other lasers, as well.

Lasers are an efficient and effective choice for cutting steel, stainless, and aluminum. Materials can be laser cut with high levels of accuracy; our laser-cutting equipment is capable of positioning tolerances +/- 0.004” and repeatability +/- 0.001”. With sheet sizes up to 60” x 120”, thicknesses up thru 0.750” for steel, .500” for stainless steel, and .375” for aluminum, we can accommodate most part requirements.

Advantages of Laser Cutting
Laser cutting has many benefits when it comes to production of parts and products.

  • Capable of cutting many materials and thicknesses
  • Cutting narrow kerf widths, which promotes efficient part nesting, yielding better sheet utilization and material savings
  • Fast
  • Easily and accurately repeatable
  • Reliable
  • Reduced time for set-up with the ability to react and adapt quickly to changing production needs that are market or quantity driven
  • Efficient processing, as multiple jobs or parts, can be nested and cut in a single program.
  • No secondary clean up process required for most materials and is usually ready for immediate shipment

Disadvantages of Laser Cutting
While some disadvantages to laser cutting exist, the benefits far outweigh the downsides. And in most cases, Mainstay mitigates these disadvantages:

  • High power consumption – Mainstay continually invests in new equipment to utilize the latest technologies available
  • Can be expensive vs. like processes (plasma or water-jet cutting)
  • Rate of production depends on the material – Mainstay utilizes high wattage lasers to keep cutting speeds high, even for thicker materials
  • Poorly adjust lasers can cause burning – Mainstay has years of experience and modern technology to minimize this
  • Difficulty cutting reflective metals (like copper, brass, and sometimes aluminum) – while our lasers cannot cut copper or brass, we are able to cut aluminum with excellent edge quality and high cutting speeds

Mainstay has many years of experience with laser cutting. Our years of experience in the market allow us to know if laser cutting is the right solution for you. We focus on finding businesses that need a fabrication and metal cutting partner that is going to provide them with a great product and great service.