Welcome to The World of Industry

When Should You Look For Laser Cutting?

Among the many ways you can have steel cut and formed for your projects is laser cutting. This newer (though it's been around for a while now) technology offers some distinct benefits over other fabrication forms such as punching. Laser cutting shouldn't be used in every situation, of course, and sometimes the dividing line is a bit fuzzy. But if you need precise cuts in certain types of metal, laser cutting is a fantastic way to get the job done.

Thinner Metal and Lasers vs. Punching

Lasers work well with thinner sheet metal. Punching is good for thicker items; you don't want to use punching with thinner items, if you can help it, because the force of the punch cutting down into the metal can sometimes bend the metal. Laser cutting does not rely on brute force pressing into the metal sheet. You do need to be sure that the sheet metal is stable, but you don't need to worry about how the edges of the cuts might turn out.

Customized Cutting

Laser cutting, especially computer-controlled laser cutting that allows for changes in patterns, can provide customized cuts that differ from sheet to sheet without requiring new punch forms. There's also no worry about the cutting edges of punch forms becoming dull as time goes by if you use laser cutting. The laser should have a consistent fuel stream (for lack of a more descriptive term for the gas that allows the laser to work) that keeps the beam steady and strong.

Faster Cutting With Lasers — and Lower Costs

One more reason to look at laser cutting is how fast it can go. While punches seem fast, of course, overall, customized laser cuts allow a job to be finished much more quickly because there is less downtime when switching patterns and metal types. And during intricate jobs where the cuts have to have a lot of small details, the laser can make these quickly once the machine is properly programmed. There's no need to have new punch forms loaded into the machine each time the cutting pattern changes.

This doesn't mean punching is never good; as mentioned, it's great for thicker metal, and if you're mass-producing one cut, it can be a very fast process. But laser cutting for steel fabrication allows for more variety with less waiting time. You can consult with a steel fabrication company to see what their average completion times are like for both laser cutting and punching.