A laser uses a different power source than a plasma cutter, but they can perform some of the same operations. A plasma cutter can cut some materials that a laser cutter should not—such as highly reflective metals— and can cut thicker material more easily than a laser. The primary downside of plasma cutters is that they are not quite as accurate as laser cutters and cannot perform as many different operations.
Cost is also a differentiator. Plasma cutting is cheaper and uses less energy. The machine that drives a laser cutter is more expensive, and they also use far more energy—with only a small portion of the energy actually getting transmitted into the cutting of the material. This is one of the many reasons companies choose plasma cutting. The reduced cost of the cutting operations is extremely important in keeping the overall cost of the project down, and, because of this, a plasma cutter may be a suitable alternative to laser cutting.
If you have any questions about plasma cutting, or Mainstay’s capabilities, please reach out and discuss what you need with us. High definition plasma cutting might not be the right option for your needs, but we’re confident that we can find a solution.